NextEra Energy Resources commissioned the Blythe and McCoy solar energy centers, in Riverside County, CA. The solar farms consist of 4 million solar panels and a generating capacity of 485 megawatts of solar energy. That’s equivalent to powering 181,000 homes and a reduction of 774,000 tons per year of carbon dioxide emissions produce by the use of fossil fuels.
"These projects represent a more than $1.2 billion investment in California and a tremendous step forward to help the state meet its renewable energy goals," said Armando Pimentel, president and CEO of NextEra Energy Resources, which built and will own and operate the projects. "We are very pleased to bring these solar energy centers online to help serve the state and boost the local economy.” During construction the projects created roughly 1,500 jobs, benefitting Riverside County’s economy.
"California leads the nation in renewable energy and these projects demonstrate that commitment," said California Energy Commissioner Karen Douglas. "They are great examples of renewable energy projects on public lands that are helping us address climate change while respecting the many important values of the desert environment."
The energy produced by the Blythe and McCoy Energy Centers will serve customers of Southern California Edison, help California meet its renewable energy producing goals and assist national health care provider Kaiser Permanente become a carbon net positive company.
The two solar farms feature tracking solar panels that follow the sun east to west during peak hours to maximize energy production constructed on more that 4,000 acres mostly managed by the U.S. Bureau of Land Management (BLM).
"The completion of these projects is further proof that America's shift toward clean, renewable energy is underway," said BLM Director Neil Kornze. "In fact, we've seen a threefold increase in wind and a fivefold increase in solar power generation during this administration. That's a foundation for the future that we should all be proud of."
Projects like these are helping the country quickly reduce emissions from power generation sector. According to a report released by Ceres in July (2016) some greenhouse emissions in the U.S. have decreased to levels seen prior to 1990. Electric producers like NRG Energy and Berkshire Hathaway have made significant investments into wind and solar projects and have set expectations and goals toward sustainable energy production. Southern California Edison customers are also benefiting from another cooperative effort announced in January (2016) with a power purchase agreement for four First Solar projects which will total 500 megawatts of electric generation.Tweet