SunPower (Nasdaq: SPWR) is getting a strong sales pipeline for its solar panels after selling what will be the largest solar PV plant in the world.
Warren Buffet’s utility, MidAmerican Energy, is buying the 579 megawatt (MW) Antelope Valley Solar Project, and will pay as much as $2.5 billion to SunPower for the sale and to build it.
Antelope is actually two adjacent projects in Kern and Los Angeles Counties in California.
For the past four years, SunPower has been developing the Antelope project. Besides deploying its solar panels across the 3,230 acres, the company will serve as engineering, procurement and construction contractor and will operate and maintain the facility.
Construction is scheduled to begin early this year and be finished by the end of 2015, creating 650 solar jobs.
SunPower’s Oasis® Power Plant is a modular solar technology that can be rapidly deployed for utility-scale projects that also minimizes land use. Its high-efficiency solar panels are mounted on trackers that follow the sun during the day, increasing energy capture up to 25%.
SunPower has over 1 gigawatt of solar plants operating worldwide, and its 250 MW California Valley Solar Ranch is under construction.
Since it began acquiring renewable energy projects last year, MidAmerican’s portfolio has quickly grown to 1830 MW, in wind, geothermal, solar and hydro. When current wind projects are completed, it will have 2284 MW in that sector alone.
It owns the world’s second-biggest solar plant – the $2 billion, 550 MW Topaz Solar Farm under development in California, for which investor interest was intense. And it has a 49% stake in the 290 MW Agua Caliente solar project in Arizona, expected to come online in 2014. First Solar is building both projects.
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