SunPower starts construction of 100MW Boulder solar plant

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SunPower is using its Oasis Power Plant technology for rapid and cost-effective deployment. Credit: SunPower

US-based PV provider SunPower has started construction on the 100MW Boulder solar energy plant in the Eldorado Valley of Boulder City, Nevada.

The firm has also signed a 20-year power purchase agreement (PPA) with NV Energy, which estimates the plant will cater for the daytime electricity needs of more than 60,000 homes.

The plant will be located on 243 hectares of land, owned by Boulder City, which is being leased to SunPower under a long-term lease agreement.

The project, which is due to be operational next year, is expected to create around 200 jobs in the construction phase.

SunPower is using its Oasis Power Plant technology, which is a power block of modules that can be deployed many times over for utility-scale projects in a cost-effective and efficient manner. The technology now includes robotic solar panel cleaning capability, which the company claims uses 75% less water than traditional cleaning methods and can help improve system performance by up to 15%.

SunPower acquired the project earlier this year from utility company and independent power producer KOMIPO America. KOMIPO, the original lead developer, will still participate in the construction and operation of the project.

Jorg Heinemann, SunPower executive vice president, global power plants, said: “With more than 5.8GW of operating solar systems worldwide, the power plants we deliver leverage SunPower's proven experience and innovative, high performance technology. We are pleased to partner again with NV Energy to power more Nevada homes and businesses with sustainable, cost-competitive solar.”

In related news SunPower is also about to complete construction of a 15MW solar power plant for NV Energy at Nellis Air Force Base, which is now generating power to serve base operations. The company has already completed a 13.2MW solar plant at Nellis in 2007.

Last Month PV Tech reported that SunPower is to build 170MW of projects in China for two investors, one of which is rumoured to be tech giant Apple.

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