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Topaz Solar Farm
Solar Panels at Topaz Solar 5 (8159036498).jpg
Topaz Solar Farm solar panels
Topaz Solar Farm is located in California
Topaz Solar Farm
Location of Topaz Solar Farm
Country United States
Location Carrizo Plain, San Luis Obispo County, California
Coordinates 35°23′N 120°4′W / 35.383°N 120.067°W / 35.383; -120.067Coordinates: 35°23′N 120°4′W / 35.383°N 120.067°W / 35.383; -120.067
Status Operational
Construction began 2011
Commission date 2014
Owner(s) MidAmerican Renewables
Solar farm
Type Flat-panel PV
Site area 9.5 sq mi (25 km2)
Power generation
Nameplate capacity 550 MWp
Annual generation 1,096 GWh (125 MW avg)
Website
topazsolar.com

Topaz Solar Farm is a 550 megawatt (MW) photovoltaic power station, in San Luis Obispo County, California. Construction on the project began in November 2011 and ended in November 2014. It is the world’s largest solar farm. The $2.5 billion project includes 9 million thin-film technology based CdTe PV panels manufactured by First Solar. The company will also build, operate and maintain the project for MidAmerican Renewables, a Berkshire Hathaway Company. Pacific Gas and Electric will buy the electricity under a 25-year power purchase agreement. According to First Solar, it created about 400 construction jobs.[1] Annual generation is expected to be 1,096 GWh.[2]

History[edit]

OptiSolar, the instigator of the project, had optioned 9.5 square miles (25 km2) of ranchland,[3] In November 2009, First Solar announced that it had purchased options to an additional 640 acres (260 ha) from Ausra's canceled Carrizo Energy Solar Farm. First Solar would reconfigure the project to minimize the use of land covered by the Williamson Act.[4][5][6]

The project is utilizing nine million[7] thin-film cadmium telluride PV panels designed and manufactured by First Solar. The plant's power would be generated during the middle of the day, when demand for electricity — and price — is much higher than at night. The project is expected to begin construction in 2011 and be fully operational by 2014.[7] California utilities are mandated to get 33% of their energy from renewable sources by 2020.

On August 14, 2008, Pacific Gas and Electric Company announced agreements to buy the power from Topaz Solar Farm and High Plains Ranch.[8][9] In late October 2010 the San Luis Obispo Department Planning and Building released a Draft Environmental Impact report.

In June 2011, the U.S. Department of Energy offered First Solar a $1.9 billion loan guarantee to cover part of the financing for the project. The First Solar project was not able to close its conditional loan guarantee with the Department of Energy prior to the September 30 deadline, but it has gone ahead anyway.[1]

On May 18, 2012, First Solar announced the installation of the first PV panel.[10] On October 24, 2012, First Solar announced the installation of the millionth panel.[11] The plant began providing energy to the grid in February 2013.[12] The five-millionth panel was installed in October 2013.[13]

As of June 2014 Topaz Solar is the world's largest solar photovoltaic power plant.

Statistics[edit]

Generation (GW·h)[12]
Year Jan Feb Mar Apr May June July Aug Sept Oct Nov Dec Total
2013 0.239 24.499 18.660 31.026 40.465 47.772 58.441 53.196 47.407 39.423 40.180 401.31
2014 38.484 36.044 72.444 87.330 97.239 109.86 106.26 119.10 119.49 547.66
Total 948.97
Timeline of the largest PV power stations in the world
Year(a) Name of PV power station Country Capacity
MW
1982 Lugo United States 1
1985 Carrisa Plain United States 5.6
2005 Bavaria Solarpark (Mühlhausen) Germany 6.3
2006 Erlasee Solar Park Germany 11.4
2008 Olmedilla Photovoltaic Park Spain 60
2010 Sarnia Photovoltaic Power Plant Canada 97
2011 Huanghe Hydropower Golmud Solar Park China 200
2012 Agua Caliente Solar Project United States 290
2014 Topaz Solar Farm United States 550
List of noteworthy solar parks, (a) year of final commissioning

Gallery[edit]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b Steve Leone (7 December 2011). "Billionaire Buffett Bets on Solar Energy". Renewable Energy World. 
  2. ^ Contract for Procurement
  3. ^ Sneed, David (2008-08-14). "Calif. utility agrees to buy solar power from two proposed plants". The Tribune. Retrieved 2008-08-15. 
  4. ^ Woody, Todd (November 5, 2009). "Ausra Sells Planned Plant to First Solar". The New York Times. Retrieved 2009-11-05. 
  5. ^ Sneed, David (November 5, 2009). "Solar power company drops out of plans for Carrizo Plain in eastern San Luis Obispo County". The Tribune. Retrieved 2009-11-05. 
  6. ^ Wang, Ucilia (November 5, 2009). "First Solar Buys Land Option From Ausra for Topaz Project". Greentech Media. Retrieved 2009-11-05. 
  7. ^ a b "Topaz Solar Farm". First Solar. Retrieved July 22, 2013. 
  8. ^ "PG&E Signs Historic 800 MW Photovoltaic Solar Power Agreements With Optisolar and Sunpower" (Press release). Pacific Gas and Electric. 2008-08-14. Retrieved 2008-08-15. 
  9. ^ Sneed, David (2008-08-14). "Calif. utility agrees to buy solar power from two proposed plants". McClatchy Newspapers. Retrieved 2011-04-30. 
  10. ^ "Pirst Photovoltaic Solar Panel Installed on Largest Solar Project in the World" (Press release). First Solar. 2012-05-18. Retrieved 2012-05-20. 
  11. ^ "One Millionth Photovoltaic Solar Module Installed at MidAmerican Solar's Topaz Project by First Solar" (Press release). First Solar. October 24, 2012. Retrieved 2013-07-22. 
  12. ^ a b Energy Information Administration. "Topaz Solar Farm, Monthly". Electricity Data Browser. Retrieved May 26, 2014. 
  13. ^ Five Millionth Photovoltaic Solar Module Installed on 550-Megawatt Topaz Solar Farms, Business Wire, 10/09/2013

External links[edit]


Original courtesy of Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Topaz_Solar_Farm — Please support Wikipedia.
This page uses Creative Commons Licensed content from Wikipedia. A portion of the proceeds from advertising on Digplanet goes to supporting Wikipedia.
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325 news items

Daily Mail

Daily Mail
Fri, 28 Nov 2014 08:23:21 -0800

The Topaz Solar Farm (shown) has gone online in California's Carrizo Plain. The $2.5bn project spans 9.5 square miles and has nine million panels. It has a capacity of 550 megawatts, enough to power 160,000 homes. And it will take the place of 370,000 ...

pv magazine

pv magazine
Tue, 25 Nov 2014 21:37:30 -0800

The 550 MW Topaz Solar Project has been completed and connected to the grid. The plant, located in San Luis Obispo County, California is currently the largest operational PV power plant in the world. Solar project. First Solar's Topaz and Desert ...

Bakken.com

Bakken.com
Tue, 02 Dec 2014 14:41:15 -0800

Buried underneath heavy loads of dramatic energy-related news, like accounts of precarious oil prices, officials announced that the Topaz Solar Farm in Eastern San Luis Obispo County, California was online and producing electricity. The 550-megawatt ...
 
Motley Fool
Sun, 23 Nov 2014 10:11:15 -0800

I highlighted this earlier this year in comparing First Solar's (NASDAQ: FSLR ) Topaz Solar Farm with Ivanpah Solar, which had costs of $4.36 and $5.61 per watt, respectively. I'll note that since this contract was signed First Solar's costs have ...

pv magazine

The Denver Post
Wed, 10 Dec 2014 05:03:12 -0800

First Solar has focused on big projects, including the 550-megawatt Topaz Solar Farm in San Luis Obispo County, Calif. But now the company is trying to expand to other markets. "They've had a void in the small residential and commercial market ...
 
ValueWalk
Thu, 04 Dec 2014 13:03:28 -0800

First Solar said it was due to a failure by its Topaz Solar Farm project to meet a required deadline to receive a guarantee for a federal loan from the U.S. Dept. of Energy. After completing that internal investigation, First Solar selected a new vice ...

Christian Science Monitor

Christian Science Monitor
Fri, 05 Dec 2014 05:52:30 -0800

Late last month, MidAmerican Solar's Topaz solar farm reached full capacity to little fanfare. The $2.5 billion, 550-megawatt (MW) plant is now the world's largest and will power 160,000 California homes. Throughout the United States photovoltaic ...
 
TheStreet.com
Tue, 09 Dec 2014 14:30:00 -0800

For example, one of his favorite picks is Topaz Solar Farm, which is owned by Berkshire Hathaway (BRK.A) via MidAmerican Energy. The company's soon-to-be completed solar project "will be the largest commercially operated solar power project in the U.S. ...
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