Solar Farm Lighting the Way for California’s Renewable Energy Plan

Solar farm capable of powering 160,000 homes opens in California

Reuters, February 10, 2015

One of the largest solar energy farms in the world has opened in Southern California’s desert, with 160,000 homes now able to power lights and appliances through sunlight converted into electricity, federal officials said on Tuesday.

The Desert Sunlight Solar Farm, located in Riverside County about 170 miles (273 km) east of downtown Los Angeles, was operating at full capacity and providing 550 megawatts of electricity to the grid, the Department of the Interior said.

The farm’s official opening on Monday came weeks after California Governor Jerry Brown laid out an ambitious plan for 50 percent of the state’s electricity to be generated by renewable resources over the next 15 years.

At its unveiling, Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell commended Brown for “implementing policies that take action on climate change and help move our nation toward a renewable energy future.”

The farm provides enough energy to power 160,000 average homes and displaces 300,000 tons of carbon dioxide per year – the equivalent of taking 60,000 cars off the road, the agency said.

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