One of the top solar energy companies in the world, SunPower, is close to completing what will be the “world’s largest solar power plant” in Southern California, according to recent reports.
The 579 megawatt (MW) Solar Star project is now mostly online, and is on track for “substantial completion” during Q2, based on recent comments made by SunPower president and CEO Tom Werner during a 2014 earnings presentation.
Werner put it pretty clearly: “Construction of the 579 MW (AC) Solar Star Projects for Berkshire Hathaway Energy and Southern California Edison is on plan with more than 412 MW (AC) now connected to the grid, and with substantial completion expected by the end of the second quarter.”
SunPower is developing the two co-located generating facilities that make up the Solar Star project for the owner of the project, BHE Solar — which is a subsidiary of Berkshire Hathaway Energy, which is, of course, one of the investment arms of the famous investor Warren Buffet.
The electricity produced by the project is being purchased by the utility Southern California Edison under a long-term PPA (power purchase agreement). The specifics of the agreement haven’t been publicly disclosed.
The reason that this news appears to be coming a bit out of nowhere is that the project is now running around 6 months ahead of schedule. That’s the kind of thing a company likes to share on an earnings call.
Once completed, the project will provide (according to SunPower) enough electricity to power roughly 255,000 Californian homes — as well as allow SunPower to take the top spot from First Solar. The largest soar power plant in the world currently is First Solar’s 550 MW project (two of them actually) in California.
Image Credit: SunPower