Posted by: jbarnesca | September 24, 2010

20 MW and 19 MW Solar PV Farms at Avenal, CA Ready For Construction

Yesterday a formal announcement was made that two of the three solar PV farms at Avenal will begin construction by the end of the month (September 2010).  The first two projects are called Sun City (20MW) and Sand Drag (19MW). Eurus Energy is both developer and owner, while NRG Energy is also an owner.

They are trying for first commercial operation by summer time 2011, and will enter the rankings of the largest solar farms in the US at that time.

Eurus Energy America is a Japanese conglomerate with considerable experience and financial backing, while NRG Energy, Inc. is a Fortune 500 company with many power facilities.  Quite an ownership team exists here.  Eurus is expected to serve as main developer.

Of interest to me was the announcement of the engineering, procurement, and construction (EPC)  firm to construct the first two farms, the Ryan Company, and the stated use of Sharp thin film Si modules.  It is to be noted that the Ryan Company did the construction at the Mendota facility with an earlier version of the Sharp thin film modules.  So this combination is being used once again on a real large solar PV farm in CA.

location, location, location

The Avenal area sets in the Pleasant Valley region stretching from Coalinga to Avenal that is above the Central Valley floor.  This is great to avoid the characteristic Toole fog of the valley and is quite a bit higher in solar insolation, as you can see from NREL maps. When you drive there you think, this is God’s country for perfect solar that is not in the Mojave desert.

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