NRG cuts ribbon on Alpine solar power plant

Alpine Solar Facility

ANTELOPE VALLEY – Currently the largest fully operational solar plant in California, NRG’s Alpine Solar Generating Facility celebrated its official grand opening Friday with a ribbon-cutting event.

The 66 megawatt (AC) photovoltaic facility actually began full commercial operations in February, and renewable power generated by the facility is being sold to Pacific Gas & Electric under a 20-year power purchase agreement.

Located at 21125 West Avenue C, the Alpine Solar facility will generate enough energy to meet the annual needs of approximately 53,000 homes at peak daytime capacity. Because the facility produces electricity without fossil fuels, it helps avoid the annual emission of 36,000 tons of carbon into the atmosphere, or the equivalent of taking 6,600 cars off the road.

“The opening of Alpine marks a dramatic shift in the way energy is generated in California,” said Randy Hickok, senior vice president of NRG Solar. “As the largest operating photovoltaic facility in the state, Alpine is not only providing PG&E with a renewable source of energy, but contributing to cleaner air and a smaller carbon footprint for the state, ultimately helping meet California’s renewable portfolio standards.”

Alpine is one of eight large-scale photovoltaic solar facilities owned by NRG that currently produces clean solar power for thousands of homes and businesses in three states.

The other seven completed or partially completed plants are Agua Caliente (under construction) and Avra Valley in Arizona; Roadrunner in New Mexico; and Avenal, Blythe, Borrego and California Valley Solar Ranch (under construction) in California.

(Information via press release from NRG Energy, Inc.)

  2 comments for “NRG cuts ribbon on Alpine solar power plant

  1. Adam Chant
    May 6, 2013 at 11:44 am

    Interesting that this keeps coming up..
    While there is no doubt that the solar farms contribute to the problem, they are not the only reason for dust and in fact had not a single solar farm been installed we would still have dust storms.. because this is a desert, it has been extremely dry and the wind blows..

    Throughout the history of this valley on years that there has been low native flower growth there has been high incidents of dust storms and valley fever.

    In the words of Milli Vanilli or whomever actually sung it.. “Blame it on the rain.”

    Having said that.. there does need to be some reconsideration for dust abatement at these locations. Maybe the cities could consider a reduced fee for tires, gravel, concrete and asphalt dumping so that it could be used to cover the ground under the solar panels.
    This may kill two birds with one piece of concrete; Reduce incidents of illegal dumping on our natural desert and help reduce the growth of dust storms from these sites.

  2. ed
    May 5, 2013 at 2:56 pm

    Regardless of how many permanent employees are hired this project will help keep our air clean. Now all we have to do is figure how to conquer
    the dust storms.

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