World’s largest solar farm operating in California Valley

November 27, 2014

solar1Eastern San Luis Obispo County is now home to the world’s largest solar farm. [Green Tech]

The 550-megawatt Topaz Solar Farm located in California Valley became fully operational late last month, and workers are expected to install the finishing touches early next year. Topaz is the first 500-megawatt solar farm to become operational in the U.S., in addition to being the largest plant of its size in the world.

Topaz Solar Farm is the second of two photovoltaic plants to go operational on San Luis Obispo County’s Carrizo Plain. Workers completed construction of the 250-megawatt Solar Ranch last year.

The Solar Ranch now delivers enough electricity to power 100,000 homes annually. Topaz is expected to power 160,000 homes.

First Solar, the developer of both projects, says the Topaz farm will create $52 million in economic output for local suppliers. PG&E will purchase the energy under an agreement with First Solar.


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8 Comments

  1. Myself says:

    Here let me beat the dead horse, that is about half of what the Morro Bay power plant turned out and it didn’t ruin thousands of acres of land,ask them about the birds that die from the reflective heat off those panels, and lets see about heat waves coming off of all that glass changing the atmosphere in that area.

    (12) 26 Total Votes - 19 up - 7 down
    • whatisup says:

      The environmental groups that sued the project in the beginning and whose representatives came on the project to view as they wanted (part of their lawsuit settlement) has not found dead birds. What are you talking about? The fact is the animals are grateful for the shade under the panels. That is where they hang out. You are beating a dead horse that is your own mind’s creation.

      (3) 11 Total Votes - 7 up - 4 down
    • obispan says:

      1) You’re confusing this photovoltaic project with the BrightSource facility in the Mohave desert that uses mirrors to boil water in a tower. Yes, you ARE that stupid. 2) Morro Bay is done. The plant is ancient and based on oil delivered by tankers. I know Rush tells you to hate all sources of energy except foil fuels and nukes like Dick Cheney does but it’s time to think for yourself. 95% of the time there is plenty of power from utility-owned plants. Morro Bay was “kept around” as a peaker plant, old and inefficient, but necessary at peak demand due to air conditioning loads on top of mid-day peak use. Guess when solar provides power?

      (2) 4 Total Votes - 3 up - 1 down
  2. SloTownMan says:

    How much did it cost the taxpayers?

    (12) 22 Total Votes - 17 up - 5 down
    • pasowino says:

      Good question. I’m sure they got tax incentives, but that’s just a reduction in what they would pay in the form of taxes. I doubt the tax payers actually paid for any of the project.

      (-10) 16 Total Votes - 3 up - 13 down
    • SloTownMan says:

      Per a google search: “The US Department of Energy has offered First Solar a $1.9bn loan guarantee for part of the project”

      (5) 7 Total Votes - 6 up - 1 down
      • whatisup says:

        First Solar sold the project to Mid-American Energy (owned by Warren Buffett). PG&E already contracted to buy all energy production from the Topaz Solar Farm for the life of the project. Mid-American did private bond offerings on wall street to fund the project. These bond offerings were over subscribed, i.e., more investors wanted in on the project than could be accommodated, probably because of Warren Buffet buying the project.

        (3) 3 Total Votes - 3 up - 0 down

Comments are closed.