March 4 (Renewables Now) - Real estate and infrastructure company CIM Group has kicked off construction on the first phase of an over 2.7-GW solar photovoltaic (PV) park in California’s San Joaquin Valley.
The huge project, named the Westlands Solar Park, will become one of the largest power plants of its kind, generating electricity to over 1.2 million homes when working at full capacity. It will span over 20,000 acres of previously selenium contaminated and drainage-impaired land in the state’s Fresno and Kings Counties, the developer said earlier this week.
The capacity is planned to be switched on in phases, the first one of which will be the 250-MW Aquamarine power plant. All needed entitlement and conditional use approvals for it are in place. The output from a 50-MW portion of its capacity will be sold under a power purchase agreement (PPA) with local power supplier Valley Clean Energy Alliance, which was signed following a competitive solicitation. First deliveries under the deal are planned for late 2021.
Power from the Westlands Solar Park will go to public and private utilities and other energy consumers, the statement says. The development of the project follows the installation in 2016 of a 2-MW pilot solar system at the site, which is supplying power to the Anaheim Public Utility.