PHOENIX and SAN JOSE, Calif., Jan. 9, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- MidAmerican Solar and SunPower Corp. (Nasdaq: SPWR) announced that the first portion of the 579-megawatt Solar Star development – two projects co-located in Kern and Los Angeles counties in California – 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.
MidAmerican Solar is a subsidiary of MidAmerican Renewables and is headquartered in Phoenix, Ariz. MidAmerican Solar's projects include the 550-megawatt Topaz Solar Farms in San Luis Obispo County, Calif.; the 579-megawatt Solar Star projects, two projects co-located in Kern and Los Angeles counties in California; and a 49 percent ownership interest in the 290-megawatt Agua Caliente project in Yuma County, Ariz. More information is available at www.midamericanrenewablesllc.com.
SunPower Corp. (Nasdaq: SPWR) designs, manufactures and delivers the highest efficiency, highest reliability solar panels and systems available today. Residential, business, government and utility customers rely on the company's quarter century of experience and guaranteed performance to provide maximum return on investment throughout the life of the solar system. Headquartered in San Jose, Calif., SunPower has offices in North America, Europe, Australia, Africa and Asia. For more information, visit www.sunpowercorp.com.
SunPower Forward-Looking Statements
This press release contains "forward-looking statements" within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995, including, but not limited to, statements regarding (a) our plans and objectives for existing and future project development and construction; and (b) estimates regarding the future performance and reliability of our products. These forward-looking statements are based on our current assumptions, expectations and beliefs and involve substantial risks and uncertainties that may cause results, performance or achievement to materially differ from those expressed or implied by these forward-looking statements. Factors that could cause or contribute to such differences include, but are not limited to: (1) competition in the industry and downward pressure on average selling prices; (2) our liquidity, substantial indebtedness, and our ability to obtain additional financing for our projects and our customers; (3) our ability to meet our cost reduction targets; (4) regulatory changes and the availability of economic incentives promoting use of solar energy; (5) challenges inherent in constructing and maintaining certain of our large projects, such as the Solar Star projects; (6) the success of our ongoing research and development efforts and commercialization of new products and services; (7) fluctuations in our operating results; (8) manufacturing difficulties that could arise; and (9) challenges managing our joint ventures. A detailed discussion of these factors and other risks that affect our business is included in filings we make with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) from time to time, including our most recent reports on Form 10-K and Form 10-Q, particularly under the heading "Risk Factors." Copies of these filings are available online from the SEC or on the SEC Filings section of our Investor Relations website at investors.sunpowercorp.com. All forward-looking statements in this presentation are based on information currently available to us, and we assume no obligation to update these forward-looking statements in light of new information or future events.
SOURCE SunPower Corp.