The Los Angeles Department of Water and Power’s high-desert Adelanto Switching and Converter Station has started to take shape. Located on a 42-acre site, about 65 miles north of Los Angeles, construction on the project began in February this year, after the Board of Water and Power Commissioners granted final approval for the project in December 2010.
The 11.6MW DC solar system is composed of 46,322 solar panels, generating 250W, from SolarWorld. A metaphorical “Made in America” stamp is being bandied around, presumably because SolarWorld is leading the charge against Chinese solar manufacturers alleging anti-competitive tactics. The system then features domestically produced solar panels, racking, inverters and other BOS components. The LADWP is employing an array of American-made electrical components, including 600 amp connectors and surge arresters and 13 Envirotemp FR3 biodegradable and non-toxic dielectric fluid-filled transformers manufactured by Wisconsin-based Cooper Power. Furthermore, 13 inverters have been assembled by SMA America in Denver, Colorado. Even the project’s switchboard and 117 combiner boxes were domestically manufactured.
The Adelanto system features more than 5 million pounds of aluminium Sunfix Ground Mount racking as well as 9,600 steel piers, which form the project’s underground structural foundation – all of which were of course, made in the US.
“The Adelanto project taps the impressive breadth of American engineering and manufacturing know-how,” said Kevin Kilkelly, president of SolarWorld.
“The integration of US products illustrates that a strong domestic solar manufacturing industry has the power also to sustain other American production. Collectively, the supply chain puts thousands of Americans to work in high-value manufacturing jobs creating products that live up to our nation’s standards of sustainability, safety and quality.”