California Utility Turns On 5 Million Watts of Solar Power

California utility giant SCE has flipped the switch and turn on its super solar park adding five million watts of solar panel energy to its electrical generation capacity. The addition of solar photovoltaic plant to its Central Valley power grid was a step forward for a utility company at one time doing all it could to fight renewable energy.

The new solar photovoltaic generating station, the utility’s first ground-mount PV solar installation, covers 32 acres of land SCE has leased from the city of Porterville, California. The new solar panel generators adds 5 million watts of peak capacity enough power to serve 3,250 average homes to SCE’s network of 11 solar stations.

Construction and testing of the 29,426-panel solar products array near the Porterville Municipal Airport took about six months and created 125 jobs. The new Central Valley solar station is connected directly to the utility’s neighborhood power circuits and benefits all SCE customers in the region.

“Our hope when we launched SCE’s Solar PV Program was that it would help California achieve its ambitious renewable energy goals, while increasing industry knowledge about solar PV efficiency and interaction with local distribution circuits,” said Mark Nelson, SCE’s director of Generation Planning and Strategy. “That hope has become a reality.”

In addition to building its own network of 40-50 solar stations, SCE is signing power purchase agreements with independent producers willing to build a similar number of solar plants collectively. The combined solar installations are expected to create some 1,200 jobs in all.

“It is more than exciting for Porterville to take this first step with SCE. Hopefully, in years to come, a solar project like this will be commonplace,” said Mayor Ronald Irish. Story source: Times