Des Moines, IA and San Jose, CA /PRNewswire/ - MidAmerican Solar and SunPower Corp. (NASDAQ:SPWR) are making significant progress at the Solar Star projects, co-located in Kern and Los Angeles counties in California. The one millionth photovoltaic module has been installed at the Solar Star development, which is now delivering more than 170 megawatts to the California ISO grid.
When complete, the 579-megawatt (AC) projects will have more than 1.7 million modules installed. The first solar module was installed in March 2013.
"With the project more than halfway complete, installing the one millionth module marks a substantial achievement for all involved," said Bryan Whitcomb, general manager, MidAmerican Solar. "A project of this magnitude requires extraordinary teamwork to ensure it is successful in safely and reliably delivering renewable energy to California. We remain committed to working with our neighbors and local officials as we continue meeting our construction milestones."
The Solar Star projects are owned by MidAmerican Solar and are being constructed by SunPower, which also will provide operations and maintenance services.
"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," said Jorg Heinemann, SunPower executive vice president, customer operations and engineering, procurement and construction. "SunPower is very pleased with our progress at the Solar Star projects, where we are working with our project partners and the community to deliver one of the world's largest solar power plants on schedule." The Solar Star projects are creating approximately 650 jobs during its three-year construction period. They are estimated to generate more than $500 million in regional economic impact.
According to estimates provided by the U.S. 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. The Solar Star projects are committed to maintaining a culture of environmental respect and compliance.
"The environmental impact is just as important as the economic impact on the community," said Whitcomb. "For example, in California's Antelope Valley, where small amounts of rain and high winds are typical, dust control efforts are at the forefront of construction development and execution. We monitor wind conditions and follow several practices onsite to mitigate dust impacts to workers and community members."
Construction on the projects began in 2013 and is expected to be complete by year-end 2015. Southern California Edison will purchase electricity from the projects under two long-term power purchase agreements.
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.sunpower.com.
SunPower's 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 our plans and objectives for existing and future project development and construction and the associated economic and environmental impact of our projects. 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 press release 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.
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