Two of the United States' largest solar projects, the Arlington Valley Solar Energy II farm and Topaz Solar Farm, have achieved significant milestones in recent days.
Located in Maricopa County, Arizona, Arlington Valley Solar Energy II (AV Solar) will be a 127-megawatt installation when it is complete in the last quarter of 2013. The project's developer, LS Power Group, which finalized financing for the $550 million solar farm in February, has announced a solar panel supply agreement with Japanese-technology firm Kyocera Corporation.
Through the agreement, Kyocera will supply 34-megawatts of solar panels, more than one-third of the power plant's total need. John King, Executive Vice President at LS Power said, "The long-standing experience and documented reliability of Kyocera's high-efficiency modules and its ability to provide a stable supply in mass-production volumes made the company a clear choice for this project."
Moving further west, California's Topaz Solar Farm, an even larger installation, recently celebrated its official groundbreaking ceremony. Last week, the 550 MW project had its first solar panel installed. Owned by MidAmerican Energy Holdings Company, Topaz represents the largest solar farm under construction in the world -- this could change very soon if Saudi Arabia makes good on its solar plans.
Under construction since late 2011, the solar farm is expected to come online in 2015. Constructed, operated, and maintained by First Solar, the project is expected to displace roughly 377,000 metric tons of carbon dioxide per year. Topaz represents MidAmerican Energy's first foray into the solar industry.
Owned by Warren Buffet's Berkshire Hathaway, Inc., MidAmerican Energy purchased Topaz from First Solar last December. First Solar had to unload the mammoth project after it failed to meet the conditions of $1.9 billion loan guarantee from the U.S. Department of Energy.
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