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NRG Solar (California Valley Solar Ranch)

NRG Solar (California Valley Solar Ranch)
NRG Solar (California Valley Solar Ranch)
NRG Solar (California Valley Solar Ranch)
NRG Solar (California Valley Solar Ranch)

Location: San Luis Obispo, CA
Eligibility: 1705

Snapshot

In September 2011, the Department of Energy issued a $1.2 billion loan guarantee to support the construction of California Valley Solar Ranch (CVSR), a 250 MWac photovoltaic (PV) solar generating facility that reduces greenhouse gas emissions. The project reached commercial operation in October 2013. 

Innovation

This facility is the first utility-scale PV project in the U.S. to utilize T-0 single axis trackers in combination with the wireless tracker monitoring and control system (TMAC). The trackers and TMAC will improve annual output by approximately 25%, compared to traditional fixed installations.

Development

The project produced 350 construction jobs and will maintain 15 permanent jobs during operation. All four project phases are complete and are able to deliver the project’s full capacity of 250MWac.  

Impact

The 250 MWac PV solar generating facility will produce an average of 482,000 MWh per year over the life of the project, which is enough to power approximately 42,700 homes (roughly the number of households in Eugene, OR). The project also will avoid 279,000 metric tons of carbon dioxide annually, equivalent to the emissions of over 60,000 vehicles. Furthermore, the CVSR project will generate $10 million in tax revenues and inject $315 million into the local San Luis Obispo economy throughout construction and operations.