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First Solar Inc. has announced that the Antelope Valley Solar Ranch One project has achieved a peak generating capacity of 100 MW connected to the electrical grid. The company says the project, which is under construction in northern Los Angeles County, is currently California's largest operating photovoltaic (PV) power plant and will have a generating capacity of 230 MW upon completion, expected later this year.

Initial construction on the solar project began in September 2011, and module installation started in June 2012. Power from the plant is being purchased by Pacific Gas and Electric Co. under a 25-year contract.

“Unlike traditional power plants, the modular nature of PV power projects enables us to quickly add substantial volumes of clean energy to the grid throughout the construction process,” says Lou Moore, First Solar senior vice president of engineering, procurement and construction. “This shorter ‘time to energy’ is another key advantage of PV solar electricity.”


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