About 40 miles southeast of Las Vegas, in Boulder City, Nevada, the largest photovoltaic power plant in the US went online last week. The 48 MW Copper Mountain Solar Facility was set up for construction in January, this year, and on Dec 1st, Sempra Generation had announced the completion of its facility that was already up and running.
More than 350 construction workers had worked to install the 775,000 First Solar panels on the facility, which cover an area of 380 acres. When finished, the project broke a previous record of the largest PV plant in the US, held by the 20-MW DeSoto PV plant in Arcadia, Florida.
The generated power from two of the Sempra Generation’s plants, the Copper Mountain Solar and the 10-MW El Dorado Solar, has been sold to Pacific Gas & Electric (PG&E) under separate 20-year contracts. California utilities are obliged to meet 20% of their electricity supply by means of renewable energy sources by the end of 2010.
With the new Copper Mountain Solar Facility, US has entered the “top five” largest PV power plants, sharing the podium with Canada, Italy, Germany and Spain, according to PV Power Plants 2010, which ranks the top 50 facilities.