EDF Renewable Energy inaugurates 143 MW Californian solar project

EDF Renewable Energy has inaugurated its 143 MWp Catalina Solar plant – bringing online the eighth-largest photovoltaic plant in the world.

The plant is located in Kern County, California, on a 900-acre site southwest of the Tehachapi and Piute mountains. It is comprised of 82 MWp of Solar Frontier modules, and 61 MWp of First Solar PV modules, and will be operated and maintained by EDF Renewable Services.

In total, the plant has more than 1.1 million solar PV panels, and is forecast to offset 250,000 metric tons of greenhouse gas emissions annually, providing enough power for 35,000 local homes.

"We are proud to officially dedicate this most recent example of EDF Renewable Energy and San Diego Gas & Electric’s (SDG&E) long-term partnership in the Kern County Communities; to provide steel-in-the-ground toward California’s Renewable Portfolio Standard (RPS) goal of 33% renewable energy by 2020," said Javier De La Garza, EDF Renewable Energy West Region’s director of solar development.

Local Senator Jean Fuller poured praise on the project, noting its role in creating vital jobs for the local community for "exemplifying the scientific and technological breakthroughs that have come to define California’s innovative culture."

Steve Fox, local assembly member, added: "The Catalina Solar Project has provided solutions to our unemployment, to our reliance on fossil fuels, and to environmental pollution in one incredible venture. I am so pleased to welcome the Catalina Solar Project to the 36th Assembly District."

SDG&E has agreed a 25-year Power Purchase Agreement with the project, marking just one portion of EDF’s pledge to deliver 343 MW of renewable energy to SDG&E. The other two projects are also located in Kern County.

"SDG&E has been committed from the start to helping get viable, economic renewable resources developed, and we again stand with our partner – EDF Renewable Energy – to celebrate another step forward toward reaching our goal," remarked SDG&E’s vice president of electric and fuel procurement, Matt Burkhart.

"Catalina Solar is an example of a renewable energy project that has overcome a number of regulatory and commercial challenges in its endeavor to reach the finish line. We applaud EDF Renewable Energy for their efforts, and success."

With the inauguration of Catalina Solar, EDF Renewable Energy now boasts a combined generating capacity of 835 MW of renewable power in the state of California alone. Their global portfolio consists of 4 GW of developed projects, of which 1.9 GW is installed capacity.