SunPower Corp. (NASDAQ: SPWRA, SPWRB) announced it expects to start construction on the 25-megawatt McHenry Solar Farm in Modesto, Calif. before the end of the year. The solar photovoltaic (PV) power project received unanimous approval by the Stanislaus County planning commission on September 15, 2011. During construction, it is expected to create up to 144 construction jobs and inject approximately $18.7 million into the local economy. Construction of the facility is contingent on the receipt of all remaining building permits, and is expected to be completed and operational by the second half of 2012.
Electricity produced by the solar PV project will serve the utility grid operated by Modesto Irrigation District (MID), helping the agency achieve California's 33 percent renewable portfolio standard.
"Solar power adds to the diversity of MID's power mix and is an excellent fit for our customers' energy needs," said MID Assistant General Manager of Electric Resources Roger VanHoy. "We have been impressed by SunPower's professionalism and knowledge to date, and are confident SunPower has the experience and technology to cost-effectively deliver a system that will reliably generate solar power for MID's customers for the next 25 years."
The plant will use the SunPower Oasis™ Power Plant product, a fully integrated, modular solar power block that is engineered to rapidly and cost-effectively deploy utility-scale solar projects while minimizing land use impacts. Each power block integrates the SunPower® T0 Tracker with SunPower's high-efficiency, E19 solar panel, pre-manufactured system cabling, the Oasis smart inverter, and the Oasis operating system. SunPower Oasis also features the SunPower advanced Tracker Monitoring and Control System (TMAC™) for wireless control of the power plant. The power block kits are shipped pre-assembled to the job site for rapid field installation, and offer the highest capacity factor and the most reliable long-term performance.
"SunPower technology is fast to install, offers guaranteed performance, and is a competitively-priced choice for power," said Howard Wenger, president of SunPower's utility and power plant business group. "We commend MID for seizing the opportunity to help meet the state's growing energy demand and renewable energy goals."