THURSDAY 14 APRIL, 2011 |
SunPower Shines On With Major Solar Initiatives
It's been a huge few days for solar panel manufacturer, SunPower Corporation -
with an announcement of over USD$1 billion in conditional loan guarantees from the U.S. Department of Energy
and the opening of new solar panel manufacturing facility in California.
On Tuesday, U.S. Energy Secretary Steven Chu and California Governor Edmund G. Brown, Jr.joined SunPower and Flextronics in officially opening a solar panel manufacturing plant in Milpitas that will produce 75 megawatts (MW) of solar modules each year.
The event also acted as a springboard for Governor Brown's announcement
of the signing into a
law of a 33% renewable energy target for the state, to be achieved by
Announced also on Tuesday was a conditional commitment for a loan guarantee of
up to $1.187 billion from the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) to go towards the construction of the SunPower sponsored 250-megawatt
California Valley Solar Ranch power plant. Averaging 315 sunny days a year, California Valley is noted as
being one of the best sites for solar power generation in the entire state of
The solar farm will generate enough clean, solar
to supply approximately 100,000 homes - almost every home in the
Approximatedly 45% the land to be used for the project will be dedicated
to arrays of SunPower
set on solar trackers and associated infrastructure, with the
remaining 2,399 acres to be permanently set aside for habitat preservation and
SunPower says the Solar Ranch will create more than 350 jobs at the peak of the
projectís 2.5-year construction phase.
Construction should begin this year, with part of of the project expected to
commence operations by the end of 2011 and the remainder coming on line in 2012
and 2013. SunPower says it will be the largest photovoltaic (PV) solar power
plants in the world upon completion.
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