AV Solar Star projects now delivering energy to California ISO grid

When complete, the 579-megawatt Solar Star projects (formerly the Antelope Valley Solar Projects) are expected to have more than 1.7 million panels installed, covering 3,230 acres. The projects are situated on privately-owned, previously-disturbed land near Rosamond.

When complete, the 579-megawatt Solar Star projects (formerly the Antelope Valley Solar Projects) are expected to have more than 1.7 million panels installed, covering 3,230 acres. The projects are situated on privately-owned, previously-disturbed land near Rosamond.

ROSAMOND – MidAmerican Solar and SunPower Corp. announced Thursday that the first portion of the 579-megawatt Solar Star development — two projects co-located in Kern and Los Angeles counties — was successfully synchronized and is now delivering energy to the California ISO grid.

“This announcement is significant for the state of California,” said Mike Fehr, MidAmerican Solar’s general manager at the Solar Star projects. “It demonstrates that we are fulfilling our promise to the local community and regulators and delivering expected results, based on our construction timeline, to help California meet its mandate to generate 33 percent of its power from renewable sources by 2020. We want to thank the many stakeholders that made this milestone possible, including California ISO, Southern California Edison, county officials, local community members and contractors.  We remain committed to safely constructing one of the largest solar developments in the world in the Antelope Valley area.”

The Solar Star projects are owned by MidAmerican Solar. SunPower designed and is constructing the projects, and will provide operations and maintenance services. Construction on the projects began in early 2013 and is expected to be complete by year-end 2015.

“We are pleased to connect and synchronize Solar Star’s first SunPower Oasis Power Blocks, totaling 57 megawatts, to the grid,” said Jorg Heinemann, SunPower executive vice president, customer operations and engineering, procurement and construction. “The project partners are working well together and with the community to deliver one of the world’s largest solar power plants on schedule.”

The projects currently employ approximately 600 workers at the site.

“The Solar Star projects are creating needed jobs and providing economic opportunities in the Rosamond, Lancaster and Palmdale communities and surrounding areas,” said Paulette Rush, MidAmerican Solar’s community relations specialist for the Solar Star projects. “We’re committed to working hand-in-hand with the development’s neighbors and supporters and look forward to celebrating our milestones with the local community. This most recent announcement is quite an accomplishment considering construction began just one year ago.”

The development is expected to generate more than $500 million in regional economic benefits, the majority of which will be generated during construction. Southern California Edison will purchase electricity from the projects under two long-term power purchase contracts.

“Utility-scale solar power is a competitively priced renewable resource, and a key part of Southern California Edison’s energy mix,” said Stuart Hemphill, senior vice president of Power Supply for Southern California Edison. “These Solar Star projects will help us continue to grow our renewable portfolio on behalf of our customers.”

When complete, the 579-megawatt Solar Star projects are expected to have more than 1.7 million panels installed, covering 3,230 acres. MidAmerican Solar estimates that the projects will provide electricity equivalent to powering nearly 255,000 average California households.

According to estimates provided by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, electricity generated from the projects will displace approximately 570,000 metric tons of carbon dioxide per year – the equivalent of taking more than 100,000 cars off the road.

(Information via press release from MidAmerican Solar.)

Previous related stories:

Major construction starts on Solar Projects

MidAmerican Solar acquires Antelope Valley solar projects

  6 comments for “AV Solar Star projects now delivering energy to California ISO grid

  1. Oscar Mejia
    February 3, 2014 at 1:29 pm

    My energy bill still looks the same, and in fact it got more expensive.

    How does this help me, the local resident? Sure the tax revenue is a plus, but where is the money going at the end of the fiscal year?

    Oscar Mejia
    Lancaster City Council Candidate

  2. Desert Life
    January 20, 2014 at 11:14 am

    Sure everyone thinks this is great, go out there and drive by it, you will think otherwise, why do you think the sad kicks up so bad nowadays and hovers over our valley? the solar arrays are the reason, they plowed the dry earth, removed all the shrubs and now its just flat dirt.. I have been to many of these sites, and its disgusting to see our land torn up, why do you think they chose this area? because they can get away with it out here.. they could have put solar panels on the tops of all of LAs buildings, where the power is most needed, but didnt.. excuse my grammar i am rushing typing.. when i went to the safety class they basically said “if you see anything alive or was alive, babies, or pregnant, feeding or hiding, report it so we can relocate it.” TO WHERE ? I suggest you all go out and drive to see the massacre of our gorgeous desert, this was all for money and no real benefit, after 5-6 yrs this technology will be useless or out numbered with a newer/better one. think about the ranchers that live out there with livestock or farmland, that you buy your food from.. awesome, guess what valley fever has been popping up more too, gee i wonder why.. no one ever cares about the wildlife we have, people think hawks and coyotes are annoying, well i would think WE ARE, for ruining a good thing and we pollute.. no one thinks down to the heart of it like indians, use everything out of 1 thing.. but us good ol americans just want that dough and have no problem rapeing the land of others for profit, ruining the living grounds of the native animals, and the peaceful living of the ranchers and farmlands we depend on… GO us!!
    Just annoyed.

    • William
      February 3, 2014 at 1:52 pm

      Only Rex Parris could screw up alternate energy projects.

      Everything he touches turns to ca ca.

      “Business friendly” out of one side of his mouth while he sues businesses out of the other side.

      Lancaster will never, ever be great as long as a greedy bully is running EVERYTHING in town.
      He can pretend that everything is hunky dory but, like you said, drive around town and see for yourself.

  3. Victims of Valley Fever
    January 10, 2014 at 1:02 pm

    Lets hope this development gets it right and keeps the dirt from flying all over the valley and spreading Valley Fever. Three thousand acres is a lot of land to chew up for under 600 mega-watts. They better do this right.

  4. Nikolas Malechikos
    January 10, 2014 at 9:22 am

    Very Cool! Was stoked when i originally heard of this project a couple of years ago. Happy to see that the solar farm is finally pumping electricity into the grid.

    Also, from the picture above, it looks like the construction company has plated/seeded some type of grass to mitigate the blowing dust issue. I always thought that would be a relatively easy way to deal with the dust. Especially if you seed a type of grass that is either native to the area or at least tolerant to our arid climate up here.

    • Desert Life
      January 20, 2014 at 11:17 am

      its just weeds, lol they didnt plant crap.. or since the farmland owners were outbought/outnumbered the old resin from their crops.. whoppeee

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