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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 in California
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 1,100 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 CdTe photovoltaic modules based on thin-film technology, manufactured by U.S. company First Solar. The company also built, operates and maintains 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 1,100 GWh, the capacity factor is 23%.[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 was 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 (MW·h)[12]
Year Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
2013 239 24,499 18,660 31,026 40,465 47,772 58,441 53,196 47,407 39,423 40,180 38,484
2014 36,044 72,444 87,330 97,239 109,860 106,256 119,100 119,484 113,417 93,074 60,641 TBA
2015 TBA TBA TBA TBA
2014 generation 1,053,373 MWh
Topaz Solar Farm from space. Earth Observatory image, 2015.
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. ^ Atul Sharma, A comprehensive study of solar power in India and World. In: Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews 15, (2011), 1767–1776, p. 1772, doi:10.1016/j.rser.2010.12.017.
  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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Topaz Solar Farms Construction Site

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First Solar discusses the benefits of building the Topaz Solar Farm in SLO County to produce clean, renewable energy.

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347 news items

Greentech Media

Greentech Media
Mon, 24 Nov 2014 12:20:23 -0800

Late last month, the Topaz Solar project achieved full commercial operation with the completion of its final 40-megawatt (AC) phase. This is the first 500-megawatt plus solar farm to come on-line in the U.S. and the largest solar plant on-line in the ...

The Guardian

The Guardian
Wed, 08 Apr 2015 07:55:55 -0700

Topaz Solar Farm, California. Facebook Twitter Pinterest. Credits: OLI/Landsat-8/Nasa. Nine million cadmium telluride solar modules now cover part of Carrizo Plain in southern California. The modules are part of Topaz Solar Farm, one of the largest ...

24/7 Wall St.

24/7 Wall St.
Wed, 25 Mar 2015 05:22:10 -0700

Two utility-scale solar photovoltaic (PV) plants were added to California's fleet of power plants in 2014, the 550-megawatt Topaz solar farm built by First Solar Inc. (NASDAQ: FSLR) and the Desert Sunlight plant, also 550-megawatt plant and another ...

The San Luis Obispo Tribune

The San Luis Obispo Tribune
Wed, 25 Feb 2015 19:41:17 -0800

Related Stories: Solar project near Cholame will give SLO County's economy a boost · Apple building big solar energy farm near Cholame · California Valley's Topaz Solar Farm now producing electricity · California Valley Solar Ranch construction is ...

CleanTechnica

CleanTechnica
Sun, 05 Apr 2015 01:45:50 -0700

That would be the 550-megawatt Topaz Solar Farm in California, which just cranked up operations late last year. Originally a First Solar project (as is Agua Caliente), Topaz is now owned by the company BHE Renewables. That's short for Berkshire ...

Greentech Media

Greentech Media
Wed, 14 Jan 2015 12:55:13 -0800

Topaz Solar Farm, First Solar, 550, 550, CA, PG&E, MidAmerican Energy Holdings. Desert Sunlight, First Solar, 550, 550, CA, PG&E, SCE, NextEra Energy Resources, GE Energy Financial Services, Sumitomo. Solar Star, SunPower, 579, 412.5, CA, SCE ...

Greentech Media

Greentech Media
Tue, 31 Mar 2015 06:11:17 -0700

In 2012, the state made up two-thirds of contracted projects -- many of which boosted the 2014 generation totals after finally coming on-line. That included the 550-megawatt Topaz solar farm, the largest in the world, completed in San Luis Obispo ...

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 ...
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