One of the largest proposed solar photovoltaic facilities in California is getting under construction near Avenal in Kings County.
When operating at full capacity - possibly as early as 2011 - the project, which is actually three separate components known as Avenal Park, Sun City and Sand Drag, will generate 45 megawatts of power, enough to power at least 36,000 homes, according to developers Eurus Energy America and NRG Solar.
The electricity produced by thin film solar panels will be sold to Pacific Gas & Electric, and advance the state's objective of achieving 33% renewable power generation by 2020. "The Avenal projects are just the first of many utility-scale PV solar projects that we expect to be developing, building and owning in the state of California," said Mark E. Anderson, president of Eurus Energy America in San Diego.
About 200 people are expected to be employed during the construction process, according to Sierra2thesea, an online news blog that covers the Central Coast and San Joaquin Valley. The project is one of a long line of solar proposals for the Valley, which has ample sun resources and vacant land, and is ideally suited for an emerging solar industry.
(Photo of NRG CEO Dave Crane by rechargenews.com)