solar arrayThe largest U.S. producer of crystalline solar power energy Wednesday announced plans to build a massive system to provide solar energy to tens of thousands of Los Angeles homes.

The project pairs the nation’s largest municipal utility, the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power, with SolarWorld to develop an 11.6-megawatt (MW) solar system that will generate enough clean, renewable solar energy to displace 290,000 metric tons of CO2 over 25 years.

Work on the solar array commenced in February in the Adelanto desert, after the Board of Water and Power Commissioners approved the project agreement in December 2010.

The project will be built on a 42-acre site about 65 miles north of Los Angeles. The existing power convertor and switching station there serves to connect Southern California with renewable energy wind farms and the existing Intermountain Power Project in Utah.

The Adelanto project is expected to produce 22,400 megawatt-hours (MWH) of clean energy during its first year, serving 85,000 homes, and will feature several innovative, efficient design elements. Further, the system will incorporate SolarWorld Sunfix ground-mount systems featuring flexible aluminum structures to minimize site-preparation costs.

“Having built the world’s first 1 MW system in California in 1981 and adapted many system types since then, we look forward to once again demonstrating our project-engineering ingenuity,” said Raju Yenamandra, U.S. vice president of sales and a 30-year veteran of SolarWorld’s plant in Camarillo.

The Adelanto project is one of three LADWP renewable energy projects to be financed by federal Qualified Energy Conservation Bonds. The bonds, offered through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, will save LADWP customers money by subsidizing loan interest costs.

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