- Created on Thursday, 26 April 2012 15:44
- Written by Green Liver
El Centro, California - Elected officials and private citizens who have helped bring the Imperial Solar Energy Center South to the construction phase were given a tour of the site Thursday morning, April 26.
Among approximately 35 guests were Imperial County supervisors, executives and planners; Imperial Irrigation District officials and staff; federal and state agency personnel; and site neighbors.
Imperial Solar Energy Center South is a 130-megawatt (MW) utility-scale, ground-mounted photovoltaic solar power generating plant that will convert sunlight directly into electricity, producing enough clean energy to power approximately 44,000 homes. The power output has been sold to San Diego Gas & Electric (SDG&E) under a 25-year power-purchase agreement. It is one of the first large solar projects to be underway in Imperial County. Completion is scheduled for early 2014.
Bob Ramaekers, vice president of development for the project developer, Tenaska Solar Ventures, was the host for the tour and presented an overview to visitors.
“Our 946-acre solar power plant is under construction, and we wanted to create an opportunity for the many people who were part of this project in the planning stages to see our progress since work began last December,” Ramaekers said. “We are pleased with the progress made and look forward to a new phase of construction around the fourth quarter of the year, when as many as 250 to 300 construction jobs will be filled, with a goal of using mostly local workers.”
The utility-scale solar power plant will: contribute to Imperial County’s economic growth and reputation as the renewable energy capital of the nation; diversify California’s energy portfolio; provide much-needed, environmentally responsible power during periods of highest electricity demand; generate “green jobs;” help California electricity providers meet benchmarks outlined in the state’s Renewables Portfolio Standard; and help meet the United States’ increasing demand for clean, renewable electrical power, Ramaekers said.