Solar Star I and 2 on schedule

Owner MidAmerican Solar and SunPower Corp have completed more than half of what will be the world’s largest solar array - the 579MW (AC) Solar Star I and 2 projects in California.

Construction on the projects began in 2013 and is on schedule for completion by yearend 2015. Southern California Edison will purchase electricity from the projects under two long-term power purchase agreements.

MidAmerican, part of billionaire Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway holding company, recently installed the project’s one millionth PV module.

With more than 700,000 modules to go for completion, the project is now delivering about 29% of nameplate capacity to the California Independent System Operator, which manages about eight-tenths of the state’s electricity flow.

 "Two advantages of solar photovoltaic technology are that it is fast to install and it can begin generating power to the grid before a plant is fully constructed," says Jorg Heinemann, SunPower executive vice president, customer operations and engineering, procurement and construction.

SunPower is building the plants and will also provide operations and maintenance services.

According to estimates provided by the US Environmental Protection Agency, electricity generated from the projects will displace approximately 570,000 tons of carbon dioxide per year – the equivalent of removing more than 2 million cars from highways over 20 years.