Earlier this week, U.S. Department of Energy Secretary Steven Chu was present at the announcement of California’s goal to generate 1/3 of its energy needs with renewable energy, including solar power, by 2020. In fact, the USDOE itself announced a $1.18 billion loan guarantee to SunPower Corporation to develop a 250 megawatt (MW) solar power plant called the California Valley Solar Ranch. With projects like this, solar power should help California reach its renewable energy goals.
The California Valley Solar Ranch will be designed, built, operated and maintained by SunPower, with the groundbreaking to occur later this year. The solar power plant itself will be owned by NRG Solar. The utility scale solar project will be comprised of photovoltaic (PV) solar panels and will be one of the largest PV solar power plants in the world when completed.
Solar electricity generated at California Valley Solar Ranch will be sold to one of California’s largest utilities, Pacific Gas and Electric Company. This project, combined with the 392 MW Ivanpah Solar Electric Generating System, will produce enough clean solar power for 240,000 homes in California.
All of a sudden California’s goal of generating 1/3 of its energy from renewable energy resources by 2020 doesn’t seem that far-fetched!