First Solar is sounding confident that the 230-megawatt (MW) Solar Ranch One planned for California’s Antelope Valley is cleared for takeoff. The company said the failure by any group to fight the use permit and environmental impact report for the project by a January 7 deadline means work will begin this year, with completion expected by the end of 2013.
Solar Ranch One began as a NextLight project, but last summer First Solar bought NextLight for $297 million, acquiring 1,100 MWs worth of planned solar power projects – 570 MW that already had power-purchase agreements and 530 MW at earlier stages of development.
Solar Ranch One, located in the far northern part of Los Angeles County, nearly right on the Kern County line, falls in the former category: Pacific Gas & Electric has agreed to purchase power produced at the photovoltaic solar plant for 25 years. First Solar said that the plant will produce enough energy to power 75,000 average households.