Officials Dedicate CalRENEW
CalRENEW-1, a large California solar power installation, was todaydedicated in the city of Mendota, in Fresno County. As the firstutility-scale solar energy project to connect to California IndependentSystem Operator’s (CAISO) transmission grid, the project is the first of its kind. Many more like it are expected to follow.
During the dedication ceremony, California’s Public UtilitiesCommissioner John Bohn, Pacific Gas & Electric (PG&E) SeniorVice President Fong Wan and representatives from Meridian Energy USA,the project’s developer, called the installation a significant step inmeeting California’s renewable energy goals, which are the mostambitious in the nation.
California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger was unable to attend, buthe offered the following congratulations: “California has led the way in enacting ambitious policies and programs to combat climate change,reduce our dependency on oil and grow our green economy,” said GovernorSchwarzenegger. “The addition of the CalRENEW-1 Solar Farm in Mendota is further evidence that reliable, renewable and pollution-free technology is here to stay. Projects like this one are helping us meetboth our renewable energy goals and our economic needs by powering morehomes and businesses with sunshine and creating more jobs.”
The installation was built by a subsidiary of Meridian Energy,Meridian USA (formerly Cleantech America), and has been operationalsince April 30. The 50-acre project is comprised of 50,000 solarmodules, for a peak generating capacity of five megawatts (MWs). Pacific Gas & Electric (PG&E), a California utility, has signed up topurchase the plant’s output under a 25-year power purchase agreement(PPA).
CalRENEW-1 is unique for a number of reasons:
- At the policy level, the solar installation was made possible byCalifornia’s renewable portfolio standard (RPS), which was adopted in2002 through California Senate Bill 1078. Other solar farms have beenannounced in California and Nevada, but, as noted above, CalRENEW-1 isthe first to connect to CAISO.
- The project is also the first application in the U.S. of Sharp’samorphous silicon thin-film modules.
- Finally, CalRENEW is the first solar installation directlyassociated with SB1078 and represents the first power purchasingagreement (PPA) that PG&E has signed in order to meet renewableenergy mandates.
Check out more pictures and info on Sharp USA’s Facebook page.
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