SunPower Corp. announced recently that construction has commenced on Boulder Solar, a 100-megawatt (AC) solar power plant located in the Eldorado Valley of Boulder City, Nev. NV Energy has contracted to buy the power generated at the plant under a 20-year power purchase agreement.”With more than 5.8 gigawatts of operating solar systems worldwide, the power plants we deliver leverage SunPower’s proven experience and innovative, high performance technology,” said Jorg Heinemann, SunPower executive vice president, global power plants. “We are pleased to partner again with NV Energy to power more Nevada homes and businesses with sustainable, cost-competitive solar.”
Boulder Solar is expected to create approximately 200 jobs during construction. Anticipated to be operational in 2016, the project may generate enough electricity to serve the needs of more than 60,000 homes during daylight hours, based on estimates provided by NV Energy.Boulder Solar is being constructed on approximately 600 acres that are owned by Boulder City and are being leased to SunPower under a long-term lease agreement.
SunPower is constructing a SunPower Oasis Power Plant system at the site. Oasis is a fully-integrated, modular solar power block that is engineered for rapid and cost-effective deployment of utility-scale solar projects while optimizing land use. The technology includes robotic solar panel cleaning capability that uses 75 percent less water than traditional cleaning methods and can help improve system performance by up to 15 percent.
SunPower acquired the project earlier this year from KOMIPO America, Inc. (KOMIPO), an electric utility company and independent power producer operating 14 gigawatts of diversified generating capacity globally. KOMIPO is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Korea Midland Power Co., Ltd, and was the original lead developer for the Boulder Solar project. KOMIPO will participate in the construction and operation of the project.
SunPower is also completing construction on a 15-megawatt solar power plant for NV Energy at Nellis Air Force Base, which is now generating power to serve base operations. The company completed a 13.2-megawatt solar power plant at Nellis in 2007. According to the U.S. Air Force, the two Nellis plants combined represent the largest photovoltaic system in the U.S. Department of Defense.