200 MW California Solar Plant A Go

The Kern County Board of Supervisors approved a 200-megawatt photovoltaic plant proposed for California’s Antelope Valley by Sempra Generation. When constructed it will be the company’s fourth utility-scale solar power project — it began ramping up operations at the largest photovoltaic solar facility in the United States in Boulder City, Nev., in June, and recently announced plans to launch the first phase of a 600-MW photovoltaic solar project outside Phoenix in 2011.

Sempra said the Rosamond Solar plant in the Antelope Valley, 90 miles north of Los Angeles, boasts bountiful sunshine — 275 days a year —and proximity to a major transmission corridor, and lies “previously disturbed farmland.” The company argued that this made it an especially environmentally friendly proposal, noting that it will require “substantially less water to operate the solar farm than was previously used on this site for agricultural purposes.”

Sempra Generation photovolataic plant, Copper Mountain

image via Sempra Generation

Sempra Generation said it expects to break ground on Rosamond Solar “in 2012 with completion targeted for 2013.” The company is part of the San Diego-based Sempra Energy conglomerate, which includes San Diego Gas & Electric, Southern California Gas Co., Sempra LNG and Sempra Pipelines & Storage. While its other solar projects will supply Pacific Gas & Electric, a spokeman told the San Diego Union-Tribune that hasn’t worked out a deal for purchase of Rosamond Solar power.

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Pete Danko is a writer and editor based in Portland, Oregon. His work has appeared in Breaking Energy, National Geographic's Energy Blog, The New York Times, San Francisco Chronicle and elsewhere.

  • JMD

    > boasts bountiful sunshine — 275 days a year

    What happens the other 90 days of the year? Total blackout?!!

  • This is just good news for not only Rosemead and San Diego but all of California