First Solar is currently constructing the 550 megawatt (MW) Desert Sunlight Solar Farm, which is co-owned by NextEra Energy Resources, GE Energy Financial Services, and Sumitomo Corporation of America. The project is located on land managed by the Federal Bureau of Land Management (BLM), about six miles north of the community of Desert Center. Desert Sunlight will provide enough energy to serve the needs of about 160,000 average California homes, displacing approximately 300,000 metric tons of carbon dioxide (CO2) per year—the equivalent of taking about 60,000 cars off the road.
Construction on the project began in September 2011, and the facility is expected to be fully operational by 2015. When completed, the Desert Sunlight Solar Farm will support California in its efforts toward providing one-third of its energy from renewable resources, while establishing Riverside County as a world leader in renewable energy.