Obama swings through Nevada this morning and is stopping at the largest operational solar power plant in the U.S.
The mantle of the largest operational U.S. photovoltaic plant belongs to the 55-megawatt (DC) Sempra Copper Mountain solar facility in Boulder City, Nev., about 40 miles southeast of Las Vegas. Construction at the 380-acre desert site began in January of 2010 with about 350 construction workers installing almost 775,000 First Solar solar panels. First Solar also served as the engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) contractor.
The Copper Mountain facility was built by Sempra Generation, a subsidiary of Sempra Energy (NYSE: SRE).
The power from Copper Mountain Solar and Sempra Generation’s nearby 10-megawatt El Dorado Solar plant has been sold to Pacific Gas & Electric (PG&E) under separate 20-year contracts. Like power from the Hoover Dam, power produced at Copper Mountain is exported to Southern California.
For a novel take on this project, here's Fox News likening this plant to Solyndra -- as they will everything related to solar from now on. Note that Copper Mountain is privately financed and did not receive any DOE loans.
Here's a table of operational PV power plants in the U.S.
|Mesquite Solar One
|San Luis Valley
|Long Island Solar Farm
|Agua Caliente Phase 1
|DeSoto Next Gen Solar
(Megawatt values are in DC and we assume an 87% DC-to-AC derate factor for projects that are quoted in AC. Data from Greentech Media.)