While it is nowhere as large as Canada’s 80MW Sarnia Solar Project (which is the world’s largest PV plant), the US has just opened the country’s largest PV plant in Nevada. The 48MW Copper Mountain Solar Facility, initiated by Sempra Generation, began construction January this year and the facility was finished just a few weeks ago.
The plant is located 40 miles southeast of Las Vegas, in Boulder City and features more than 775,000 First Solar panels spread out over an area of 380 acres. The project was so large that it required 350 workers to fully install the units. The plant’s completion means that it has now broken the country’s previous record of the largest PV plant which was held by the 20-MW DeSoto PV plant in Arcadia, Florida.
“Completing Copper Mountain Solar is a major accomplishment. It demonstrates that large-scale solar can be developed at a rapid pace to help this country meet its clean energy needs, and further solidifies our position as one of the leading solar developers in the U.S.,” said Jeffrey W. Martin, president and chief executive officer of Sempra Generation. “We have a focused plan aimed at developing more than 1,000 MW of solar projects in California, Arizona and Nevada that will provide solid returns well into the future.”
The power from the Copper Mountain Solar Facility (along with the energy created from the Sempra Generation’s other plant – 10-MW El Dorado Solar) will be sold to Pacific Gas & Electric (PG&E) under separate 20-year contracts. It is all part of California’s renewable drive to produce 20% of their electrical supply from renewable sources by the end of the year.
In case you were curious, the Copper Mountain Solar Facility’s output now puts in the world’s ‘Top 5 Largest PV Plants’, along with Italy, Germany, Spain and world leader, Canada.