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125-MW phase of California’s Westlands Solar Park starts commercial operation

Written by: Leonard Parker | Solar News | 30th September

The 125-MW first phase of the Aquamarine solar project at Westlands Solar Park (WSP) in San Joaquin Valley, California, has reached commercial operations. The second 125-MW phase is expected to be operational by the end of the year.

Aquamarine is supplying power to Valley Clean Energy Alliance and Silicon Valley Power.

“Bringing clean solar power to California from Aquamarine is a major milestone in the realization of the full potential of our 20,000-acre Westlands Solar Park. As one of the largest solar projects in the U.S., Westlands Solar Park, at full build-out, will have the capacity to deliver 2.7 GW of renewable energy, a substantial resource to utilities and businesses advancing their plans to reduce carbon emissions and meet California’s renewable energy goals,” said Avi Shemesh, co-founder and principal, CIM Group.

Pacific Gas & Electric authorized Cal-ISO to connect Aquamarine to the power grid. Cal-ISO in turn authorized Aquamarine to begin synchronization and start a power generation test project providing power to the grid. The several-week test period was successfully concluded and Aquamarine officially began commercial operations on September 17.

CIM Group is currently negotiating additional PPAs with other potential counterparties for Aquamarine and future phases at WSP.

The master-planned energy park encompasses more than 20,000 acres in California’s San Joaquin Valley in western Fresno and Kings Counties and is designed to open in phases to meet the needs of public and private utilities and other energy consumers.

CIM is repurposing selenium-contaminated and drainage impaired farmland for the development of clean energy. In addition, WSP seeks to improve air quality in the San Joaquin Valley as the solar park doesn’t generate fine particular pollution. The goal of CIM’s clean energy projects is to provide solutions to multiple policy objectives for the state of California’s renewable energy mandate including greenhouse gas reduction and carbon free energy.

News item from CIM Group