A Week of Solar Projects

October 9, 2010 – Vol.15 No.29

by Bruce Mulliken, Green Energy News

A solar hot water system installed on the White House at the request of President Jimmy Carter was removed under order from President Ronald Reagan in 1986. President George W. Bush brought back some solar with little fanfare. Now, under order from President Barack Obama, new high efficiency solar panels for hot water and electricity will be installed as a demonstration project in 2011.

But that wasn’t the only solar energy news coming from the U.S. during the week beginning October 3, 2010. Announced this week over one-half megawatt of new solar electricity projects was completed, 12 megawatts (MW) began construction and more than 837 MW was put in the pipeline for construction (mostly from three major projects on public land.)


— Solar Power Partners, of Mill Valley California, has completed a 105.48 kilowatt (kW) photovoltaic (PV) solar system on the rooftop of the Moloka’i General Hospital, on the island of Moloka’i in Hawaii. This is the largest photovoltaic plant on the island and was built and financed at no capital cost to the hospital through a solar Power Purchase Agreement partnership with Solar Power Partners.

The system was installed by ProVision Solar, based in Hilo, Hawaii.

Solar Power Partners

ProVision Solar

— Cox Enterprises has completed a 200 kW solar power installation at its Manheim Portland, Oregon facility on North Hayden Island Drive. The photovoltaic rooftop solar panel installation covers 16,500 square feet.

Cox Conserves

— OFM, one of the nation’s leading office and school furniture manufacturers, distributors and wholesalers has completed a 250 kW rooftop solar farm project at its headquarters in Holly Springs, North Carolina. The solar farm consists of 1,042 solar panels on the roof of OFM’s main building in Holly Springs.


Under Construction:

— The City of Hollister, California and the Hollister School District have started construction of a more than 2.6 MW of solar PV project. The capacity will be built in 10 separate sites including the city’s wastewater treatment plant (1.16 MW), six elementary schools, two middle schools and the offices of the Hollister School District (combined 1.45 MW).

The water treatment plant project is funded by Perpetual Energy Systems, a renewable energy company specializing in financing and developing solar powered energy systems. ClearSpot Energy, a solar project developer, working in partnership with Rosendin Electric, will design, install, operate and maintain the solar energy systems for the City of Hollister – who will purchase the electricity produced by the solar systems.

Rosendin Electric

Perpetual Energy Systems

ClearSpot Energy

— PsomasFMG has started construction on a 9.6 MW photovoltaic solar project on 10 sites for the Antelope Valley Union High School District (AVUHSD), in California The project, the largest school solar power installation to date in California, is a public-private partnership between PsomasFMG, LLC and the AVUHSD. PsomasFMG is providing a turnkey solar solution for the school district, including arranging for private investor financing without any capital expenditure by the district.

The 41,000 solar PV panels mounted on parking lot sunshades is expected to be complete in early 2011.


— NASA has begun installation of a 79 kW solar array from at the Kennedy Space Center in Florida. The solar array with 336 panels manufactured by Sharp Solar in Memphis, Tennessee, will provide the facility with enough clean, renewable energy to completely power the facility with zero net energy consumption and zero carbon emissions annually.

The system will be mounted on the Propellants North Facility as well as a parking canopy where solar power can be used to charge electric vehicles through six 240 Volt charging stations.

Sharp Electronics Corporation

In the Pipeline:

— The U.S. Department of the Interior has approved the first two large-scale solar energy power plants to be built on public lands.

The Imperial Valley Solar Project, proposed by Tessera Solar of Texas, will use Stirling Energy System’s SunCatcher technology on 6,360 acres of public lands in Imperial County, California. The plant is expected to produce up to 709 megawatts from 28,360 solar dishes, enough to power 212,700 – 531,750 homes.

The Chevron Lucerne Valley Solar Project, proposed by Chevron Energy Solutions of California, will employ photovoltaic solar technology on 422 acres of public lands in San Bernardino County, California, and will produce up to 45 megawatts from 40,500 solar panels, enough to power 13,500 – 33,750 homes.

U.S. Dept. of the Interior

Tessara Solar

Chevron Energy Solutions

— Southern California Edison (SCE) has signed a roof lease covering 4.8 million square feet to build a 25 MW solar PV system. Prologis, a leading global provider of distribution facilities, is the project developer. This is the second phase of its 100-megawatt (MW) solar project with Southern California Edison (SCE), the largest electric utility in California.


— Solar Energy Initiatives has completed the necessary funding to facilitate the first phase of a 1 Megawatt (MW) installation of photovoltaic (PV) system for an unspecified southeast municipality. The current funding for 500 kilowatts will allow the first phase of the project to be completed within 120 days and generate $2 million of revenue.

Solar Energy Initiatives

— The Palmdale School District (PSD), in Palmdale, California has awarded PsomasFMG a $30.8-million contract to construct of a 6.4 MW solar power installation at 19 sites. PsomasFMG is providing a turnkey solution for PSD, which includes financing for the design-build project and long-term asset management.


— AEP Ohio has signed a 20 year solar power purchase agreement with Turning Point Solar. To provide the power Turning Point will develop a 49.9-megawatt (MW) solar generating facility on approximately 500 acres in southeastern Ohio.


Turning Point Solar

— The U.S. Department of the Interior has approved the Ivanpah Solar Electric Generating System, the first large-scale solar energy project on U.S. public lands to use “power tower” technology. Proposed by BrightSource Energy of Oakland, California, the project could produce up to 370 megawatts of clean energy, enough to power 111,000 to 277,500 American homes. Located in San Bernardino County, California, the project is expected to generate approximately 1,100 new jobs.

BrightSource Energy

— Lite Solar Corporation, of Long Beach, California and Gold Miners Inn in Grass Valley, California have signed a power purchase agreement for one of the largest non-power plant solar installations in the California Sierra Foothills. The 375 kW system will provide power for the 80-room hotel and conference center.

Lite Solar Corp.

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