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Salazar approves 550 MW solar PV in California

First Solar's 550 MW Desert Sunlight Solar Farm east of Palm Springs, California, has been approved by US Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar.

By Kari Williamson

The solar photovoltaic (PV) project will be developed and operated by Desert Sunlight Holdings, LLC, a subsidiary of First Solar Inc, using First Solar’s thin-film solar photovoltaic (PV) technology.

An on-site substation and a 230 kV generation tie line will connect the project to the Red Bluff substation which will convert the solar power from 230 kV to 500 kV for transmission on Southern California Edison’s regional grid.

“The Desert Sunlight Solar Farm is the largest photovoltaic facility Interior has approved thus far and, when built, will help power our nation and economy,” says Salazar.

“With 12 large-scale solar projects approved in the last 18 months, we continue to make significant strides in spurring innovation, job-creation, and investment in the private sector while strengthening America’s energy security.”

The solar PV project is expected to create over 630 jobs at peak construction and infuse an estimated US$336 million into the local economy.

The Desert Sunlight solar PV facility was granted a conditional commitment of a US$1.88 billion loan guarantee in June.

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