Desert Sunlight Solar Farm

300,000 Metric Tons of CO2 Displaced Per Year

About Us /  Projects /  Desert Sunlight Solar Farm

Riverside County, California, USA

NextEra Sumitomo

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.

Environmental Benefits
  • Enough power for 160,000 average homes
  • Displaces 300,000 tons of CO2 annually—equivalent to taking 60,000 cars off the road
  • Lowest environmental impact of any PV technology
  • No water used for electricity generation
Community Benefits
  • Wages and benefits from approximately 440 construction jobs over a 26 month period
  • Estimated $15 million in new sales tax revenues and $12 million in new property tax revenues for Riverside County
  • Estimated $336 million of indirect benefits to local businesses in the county, from engineering and design firms to construction subcontractors, supplier, and service providers
Educational Benefits
  • Support for College of the Desert (COD) Renewable Energy training and educational programs
  • Developing programs to support renewable energy education in local high schools and elementary schools
  • On-site Solar Energy Learning Center

First Solar is committed to being a good neighbor—through our community relations and site selection process, as well as through our system performance. We are dedicated to meeting the needs of the community by supporting local events and providing educational benefits for local schools and universities. First Solar’s solar panels produce electricity directly from the sun without any moving parts, noise, or water consumption.

Type:

Ground Mount

Developer:

First Solar, Inc.

Owners:

NextEra Energy Resources, GE Energy Financial Services, Sumitomo Corporation of America

PPA:

Southern California Edison, PG&E

Project Size:

550MW (AC)

Homes Powered:

160,000

Cars Removed:

60,000

Tons CO2 Displaced Annually:

300,000

Project Timeline

  • 2008-2009
  • 2009-2011
  • 2011-2015
  • 2015-2039

Project Status: Under Construction

Desert Sunlight Riverside County, California, USA

Construction Updates

October 14, 2011

The four desert tortoise found on the project site were successfully relocated to the BLM, FWS, and CDFG approved recipient site. Monitoring of the translocated individuals is ongoing.

October 07, 2011

Grading, post installation and other activities including but not limited to cactus and sensitive plant salvage, well drilling, temporary trailer installation, and construction water storage pond installation have commenced in areas cleared of desert tortoise and other sensitive resources.

September 08, 2011

Desert Sunlight received the NTP for Phase IB and Phase II of the Project. Pre-construction activities on each of these phases began on 9/9/2011.

August 11, 2011

Desert Sunlight received the Right of Way (ROW) Grant and Notice to Proceed (NTP) for Phase IA of the project. Pre-construction activities began on 8/15/2011.

Biological Monitoring Report - Annual-

Biological Monitoring Report Annual Report 2011
Jan 01, 2012
Biological Monitoring Report Annual Report 2012
Jan 01, 2013
Biological Monitoring Report Annual Report 2013
Dec 31, 2013

Biological Monitoring Report+

+2011

Weekly Biological Monitoring Report 10-16-2011
Oct 16, 2011
Weekly Biological Monitoring Report 10-2-2011
Oct 02, 2011
Weekly Biological Monitoring Report 10-23-2011
Oct 23, 2011
Weekly Biological Monitoring Report 10-30-2011
Oct 30, 2011
Weekly Biological Monitoring Report 10-9-2011
Oct 09, 2011