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Solar farm planned for Central Valley

The world's biggest such power facility will be built near Fresno.

July 07, 2007|From Reuters

A San Francisco-based company said Friday that it planned to build the world's largest solar power farm near Fresno.

The 80-megawatt farm will occupy as many as 640 acres and upon completion in 2011 will be 17 times the size of the largest U.S. solar farm, said Cleantech America, a privately held company.

The farm will also be about seven times the size of the world's biggest plant and double the largest planned farm, both in Germany.

Cleantech will team with public agency California Construction Authority in building its projects.

Among the hurdles to be cleared before the farm can be built is buying acreage somewhere in the San Joaquin Valley, hooking the farm to transmission lines and contracting with a manufacturer of photovoltaic solar panels.

Cleantech plans to sell the solar-generated power -- enough for almost 21,000 homes -- to the Kings River Conservation District, a public agency that seeks to supply power generation for 12 cities and two counties in California's Central Valley.

Last week, Cleantech announced plans to build a 5-megawatt solar farm on 40 acres near Mendota, Calif., also in the Central Valley. Power will be delivered to PG&E Corp.

The biggest solar farm now in operation is the 4.6-megawatt Springerville Generating Station near Tucson, which delivers power to Tucson Electric Power Co., a subsidiary of UniSource Energy Corp.

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