The final phase of the California Valley Solar Ranch photovoltaic (PV) generating facility in San Luis Obispo County, California, was announced on October 31 by NRG Energy and SunPower Corp. The 250 megawatt (MW) project, one of the world’s largest operating PV power plants, will sell its electricity to Pacific Gas & Electric under two long-term power purchase agreements. It will provide electricity to an estimated 100,000 California homes.
The project, located on a 4,700-acre site, received a federal loan guarantee for $1.2 billion from the U.S. Department of Energy’s Loan Programs Office. California Valley Solar Ranch created more than 700 jobs during its two-year construction period, generated an estimated $315 million of economic development for the local economy, and avoids more than 336,000 tons of greenhouse gas emissions per year, or roughly equal to removing 63,500 cars from California’s roads, according to estimates provided by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. See the NRG Energy press release .