One of the world's largest solar projects starts commercial operation
US Secretary of Interior Sally Jewell along with about 150 federal, state and local officials, and energy industry leaders, gathered today to commission the 550-megawatt (MW) Desert Sunlight Solar Farm, located in Desert Center, Riverside County, California.
"Solar projects like Desert Sunlight are helping create American jobs, develop domestic renewable energy and cut carbon pollution," said Secretary Jewell. "I applaud the project proponents for their vision and entrepreneurial spirit to build this solar project, and commend Governor Brown for implementing policies that take action on climate change and help move our nation toward a renewable energy future."
Project owners NextEra Energy Resources, LLC, a subsidiary of NextEra Energy (NYSE: NEE); GE Energy Financial Services, a unit of GE (NYSE: GE); and Sumitomo Corporation of Americas all helped flip the switch for the official commissioning of Desert Sunlight.
"We wouldn't be here today without the hard work and cooperation of all our partners," said Armando Pimentel, president and chief executive officer of NextEra Energy Resources, the managing owner of the plant. "We are proud that Desert Sunlight will help California meet its renewable energy goals and has helped bring much needed jobs and economic benefits to families and businesses throughout Riverside County." The facility is capable of generating enough clean energy to power about 160,000 California homes.
The Desert Sunlight Solar Farm is located on approximately 3,600 acres of land managed by the US Bureau of Land Management in Riverside County. The project is delivering significant environmental benefits, including displacing approximately 300,000 metric tons of carbon dioxide per year, equal to removing more than 60,000 cars from the road.
First Solar (NYSE: FSLR) permitted, constructed and is now operating the plant, which uses over 8 million First Solar modules. The power generated is being provided to Pacific Gas & Electric Company and Southern California Edison both under long-term contracts.
Development on the Desert Sunlight Solar Farm began in 2008. Desert Sunlight received its right-of-way grant from the Bureau of Land Management in August 2011. Since breaking ground, the project employed an average of 440 construction workers who logged more than 3.6 million man-hours of work at the facility. In addition, more than 40 California businesses contributed to the project through services ranging from materials, equipment, utilities, labor, housing, and food and beverage.
NextEra Energy Resources
NextEra Energy Resources, LLC (together with its affiliated entities, "NextEra Energy Resources"), is a clean energy leader and is one of the largest wholesale generators of electric power in the U.S., with approximately 18,300 megawatts of generating capacity primarily in 24 states and Canada as of year-end 2013. NextEra Energy Resources, together with its affiliated entities, is the largest generator in North America of renewable energy from the wind and sun. The business operates clean, emissions-free nuclear power generation facilities in New Hampshire, Iowa and Wisconsin as part of the NextEra Energy nuclear fleet, which is one of the largest in the United States. NextEra Energy Resources, LLC is a subsidiary of Juno Beach, Fla.-based NextEra Energy, Inc. (NYSE: NEE). For more information, visit www.NextEraEnergyResources.com.
Sumitomo Corporation of Americas
Established in 1952 and headquartered in New York City, Sumitomo Corporation of Americas (SCOA) has 10 offices in major U.S. cities. SCOA is the largest subsidiary of Sumitomo Corporation, one of the world's leading traders of goods and services. As an integrated business enterprise, the firm has emerged as a major organizer of multinational projects, an expediter of ideas, an important international investor and financier, and a powerful force for distribution of products and global communications through a network of offices worldwide. For more information visit www.sumitomocorp.com.
About Sumitomo Corporation
Sumitomo Corporation is a leading global trading company, with 115 locations in 66 countries and 24 locations in Japan. The entire Sumitomo Corporation Group consists of over 850 companies and more than 70,000 personnel. The SC business is continuously expanding into a diverse range of products and services. Its core business units are Metal Products; Transportation & Construction Systems; Environment & Infrastructure; Media, Network, Lifestyle Related Goods & Services; and Mineral Resources, Energy, Chemical & Electronics. For more information visit www.sumitomocorp.co.jp
First Solar is a leading global provider of comprehensive photovoltaic (PV) solar systems which use its advanced module and system technology. The company's integrated power plant solutions deliver an economically attractive alternative to fossil-fuel electricity generation today. From raw material sourcing through end-of-life module recycling, First Solar's renewable energy systems protect and enhance the environment. For more information about First Solar, please visit www.firstsolar.com
For First Solar Investors
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GE Energy Financial Services