SunPower has commenced construction of the 102 MWac Henrietta solar power plant in Kings County, California. The electricity will be sold to Pacific Gas and Electric (PG&E) under a long-term power purchase agreement (PPA). The plant, slated for completion in 2016, will create an estimated 350 jobs and infuse the local economy with $3.8 million in tax revenue.
The Henrietta solar power plant will also have an economic impact of $73 million, and generate enough electricity to power 22,000 homes, according to an SEIA estimate. As for the environmental benefit, which is where solar systems really shine — The EPA estimated that the Henrietta plant will offset 128,000 tons of CO2 emissions. That is a tremendous impact equivalent to removing 614,000 cars from California’s roads over the next 25 years.
This is yet another reminder that power plant emissions are the holy grail of all energy-related emissions, and this project just cut another chunk out of them. Getting investors on board for more of these projects is heavily dependent on their cost. This is why SunPower is constructing the Oasis power plant at Henrietta’s site. The SunPower Oasis project is designed to facilitate (more) rapid and cost-effective solar system installation. Rapid installation will likely reduce costs due to the fact that workers are paid hourly.
The project will further reduce costs by implementing robotic wipers.