LADWP’s Adelanto Solar Plant Marks Major Construction Milestone
|LOS ANGELES — The LA Department of Water and Power’s Adelanto Solar Project marked a major construction milestone today as the final support pole was installed at the 10 megawatt utility-scale solar array currently being built in the Mojave Desert. The project construction is ahead of schedule and is expected to begin delivering clean, green renewable energy to Los Angeles this summer.
Located 65 miles north of Los Angeles near the community of Adelanto, Calif., the Adelanto Solar Power Project is expected to produce an average of 20,000 megawatt hours annually for the next 25 years. That amount of energy produced is estimated to meet the needs of approximately 3,300 homes each year.
“The Adelanto Solar Power Project is an important component of LADWP’s power supply transformation as we transition from coal power to more renewable energy to meet state requirements,” said LADWP General Manager Ronald O. Nichols.
Renewable energy is critical to this transformation, which will involve replacing about 70 percent of LADWP’s existing power generation with renewables, energy efficiency, and more efficient and flexible natural gas generators. “We can’t rely on the wind to blow or sun to shine 24/7, so we need to balance the renewables with other strategies to do this in a smart, cost-effective manner that ensures continued reliability at competitive rates for our customers,” Nichols said.
The Adelanto Solar Power Project is being built on a 42-acre site at LADWP’s Adelanto Switching Station. The Adelanto Switching Station serves as the southern terminus of LADWP’s Southern Transmission System, which links Southern California with renewable wind energy and the existing Intermountain Power Plant at the northern terminus in Utah.
“By taking advantage of existing assets, such as transmission systems and facilities that LADWP already owns, we’re able to realize cost savings and complete the Adelanto solar project faster than if we had built a new renewable power project elsewhere,” said Aram Benyamin, Senior Assistant General Manager of the LADWP Power System. “This utility-scale project is part of a comprehensive solar strategy that involves roof-top and ground-mounted solar installed in LA that customers can benefit from through our Solar Incentive Program, a Feed-In-Tariff program that will launch this year and a second, 10 megawatt utility-scale solar project that will break ground this summer at Pine Tree Wind Farm in Mojave, CA.”
LADWP is installing, and will own and operate the Adelanto Solar system while SolarWorld Americas is responsible for supplying solar power system engineering, high-performance solar panels and procure balance-of-system components.
Preliminary work and design work on the solar system was started in February 2011 with construction of the solar installation at the Adelanto Switching Station beginning in November 2011. The plant is scheduled to be in-service in early June.
The project has created 150 clean energy jobs between the LADWP and contractors involved in this effort.
Budgeted at $48 million, the Adelanto solar project has benefitted from financing by federal Qualified Energy Conservation Bonds. The bonds, which are offered through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, will save LADWP customers an estimated $12 million through subsidized loan interest costs.
DWP crews install high-performance solar panels