CalRENEW-1 Solar Farm
CalRENEW-1, the first utility-scale photovoltaic (PV) solar facility to be approved by the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) under the state's Renewables Portfolio Standard (RPS) Program, has now become the first to achieve approval from the California Independent System Operator (CAISO) to deliver zero-emission solar power directly to the transmission level grid. This is significant because it enables electricity from solar facilities like CalRENEW-1 to be scheduled directly into the grid so that it can be moved over utility lines to meet electricity demands where it is needed most.
CalRENEW-1 consists of more than 50,000 solar panels covering almost 50 acres; the facility generates 5 megawatts of zero emission, environmentally benign solar electricity. The power is being sold to PG&E under a long-term purchase agreement.
CalRENEW-1 is moving California one step closer to its renewable energy future and helping the state meet its stringent carbon reduction goals. Additionally, the facility demonstrates the viability of utility-scale PV solar as a renewable peaking resource, stimulates green jobs training, creates new jobs, and supports development of clean industry in the state's economically distressed San Joaquin Valley. In addition to its economic stimulus benefits, CalRENEW-1 is helping to move the San Joaquin Valley towards cleaner air by providing renewable electricity to the area when local demand is the greatest.
Commercial operation was achieved just eight months after the August 2009 groundbreaking ceremonies were held, two years and four months after receiving approval from the CPUC. Developed by Meridian Energy USA, CalRENEW-1 was a collaborative undertaking between PG&E, the California Independent Systems Operator (CAISO), the CPUC, the City of Mendota, Meridian Energy USA and its parent company New Zealand-based Meridian Energy Limited.