Utility-scale PV project developer 8minutenergy Renewables has completed the pre-construction development stage of the proposed 266MW DC (200MW AC) Mount Signal solar farm and will now begin building the facility.
The company celebrated this milestone in a groundbreaking ceremony held on 27 February, which will also mark the transition of project ownership to its joint development partner AES Solar.
Mount Signal is the first of three phases of a larger 800MW DC (600MW AC) project, which is said to be one of the largest PV projects in the world.
8minutenergy Renewables received approval for the project in April 2012 from the Imperial County Board of Supervisors. In November AES Solar closed US$636 million in financing for the project and both companies began pre-construction activities on the project site.
As part of the pre-construction development for the project, 8minutenergy and AES Solar carried out transmission, land and economic analysis, siting, land acquisition, permitting, engineering and environmental studies.
“The development of Mount Signal Solar illustrates that 8minutenergy can successfully and reliably deliver complete solar PV projects,” said Martin Hermann, Chief Executive Officer of 8minutenergy Renewables. “Achieving this milestone validates the trust, confidence and support placed in 8minutenergy by our partner, AES Solar, as well as by utilities, county, state and local representatives. Mount Signal Solar will bring close to 1,000 construction jobs at its peak and many other economic benefits to the people of Imperial County.”
The Mount Signal solar farm is being constructed on 785 hectares of low-productivity farmland in the Californian desert. When complete in early 2014, the facility will generate around 500 million kWh of electricity which will be sold to San Diego Gas & Electric under a 25-year power purchase agreement.