alifornia takes the solar spotlight with the activation of the United States' largest solar and storage undertaking. Developed by Terra-Gen and Mortenson, this project is a powerhouse boasting a robust 875 MWdc solar capacity and a massive 3.3 GWh energy storage.
Spanning an impressive 4,600 acres in Kern County, California, the project is equipped with 1.9 million solar panels from First Solar, all proudly made in the U.S., and a whopping 120,720 batteries from top brands like LG Chem, Samsung, and BYD. The magnitude of this renewable energy giant is matched by its impact: it's expected to power around 238,000 homes.
As you would expect from such a large-scale endeavor, it is a significant step in our journey to safeguard the climate. By feeding clean energy into California’s grid, it’s set to offset an astonishing 320,000 tons of CO2 emissions annually, equivalent to taking around 70,000 cars off the road!
The financial backing behind the Edwards & Sanborn Solar + Energy Storage project is just as impressive. The first phase saw $804 million in secured credit facilities, including contributions from J.P. Morgan and Deutsche Bank. The second phase, even more ambitious, closed nearly $1 billion in financing, led by major banks like BNP Paribas and ING.
California promotes solar energy through various incentives, including rebates, tax credits, and net metering, making solar installations more affordable.
Interestingly, located partially on the Edwards Air Force Base, the venture represents the largest public-private collaboration in U.S. Department of Defense history. Brigadier General William Kale, Air Force civil engineer center commander, stated, "Only in America, can we take barren land, embrace the power of the sun and create an engineering marvel. So, take the time to reflect, see the great work that was done, and understand the significance of this project and what it can lead to. Hopefully, this is just the spark.”
Currently, the project provides energy to the city of San Jose, Southern California Edison, Pacific Gas & Electric, the Clean Power Alliance, and even companies like Starbucks, among others.