Sunday, April 22 , 2018, 10:49 am | Fair 64º


SCE Begins Installation of World’s Largest Solar Project

Southern California Edison has begun installing solar panels at the first of about 150 Southern California commercial rooftops that eventually will make up SCE’s two-square-mile solar generation project — the largest solar panel installation in the world.

In the next 45 days, SCE will attach 33,000 solar panels to a 600,000-square-foot commercial roof in Fontana, leased from ProLogis. When completed, this first installation will be capable of generating 2 million watts of power, enough electricity to supply about 1,300 average Southern California households at a point in time.

This new, clean power supply will be fed directly into the nearest neighborhood distribution circuit, strengthening grid reliability in the nation’s fastest growing urban area, the Inland Empire region of Riverside and San Bernardino counties. SCE expects to connect the first panels to its grid in early September, which will help meet peak summer power needs.

First Solar, developer of an advanced thin-film photovoltaic technology, has been selected as the winning bidder in a competitive solicitation to supply the PV system for this first installation.

“First Solar’s successful bid validated our cost forecast to regulators — SCE’s solar energy project will significantly reduce the cost of installed photovoltaic generation in California,” SCE President John Fielder said.

“We are pleased to work with Edison on a project we believe will demonstrate the solar PV system business model needed to dramatically reduce distributive solar electricity costs,” said Michael Ahearn, CEO of First Solar. “Edison’s project confirms the important role of PV solar power plants in delivering clean, affordable electricity to the nation’s fastest growing urban areas.

Subject to regulatory approval, during the next five years SCE plans to install 3.5 million of the most advanced photovoltaic panels or 250 megawatts of solar generating capacity — enough capacity to serve about 162,000 Southern California homes.

Decisions have not yet been made on other building sites or panel suppliers.

Jane Brown represents Southern California Edison.

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