Mount Signal Solar
|Mount Signal Solar|
|Location||Calexico, Imperial County, California|
|Status||Units 1 & 3 Operational|
|Commission date||May 2014 (MS1)|
July 2018 (MS3)
|Construction cost||$365 million|
|Operator(s)||TerraForm Power (MS1)|
Capital Dynamics (MS3)
|Site area||1940 acres (MS1)|
2000 acres (MS3)
|Units operational||3million FS Series3 (MS1)|
2.8million FS Series 4 (MS2)
|Nameplate capacity||594 MWp, 460 MWAC|
|Capacity factor||29.7%(average 2015–2017, MS1)|
|Annual net output||1,200 GW·h|
Mount Signal Solar, also known as Imperial Valley Solar Project, is a 594 MWp (460 MWAC) photovoltaic power station west of Calexico, California in the southern Imperial Valley, near the Mexican border. The facility is being developed and constructed by 8minutenergy Renewables in three phases, with two completed as of 2018. At full build-out, it will be one of the world's largest PV solar farms with a capacity of about 800 MWp (600 MWAC). The project has been supported by several environmental groups, as the power station was built on low productivity farmland.
Originally the project was called SES Solar Two, was to be of Stirling engine design, and was approved by California Energy Commission on September 29, 2010. AES Solar subsequently changed the name to Imperial Valley Solar, but later notified the commission on June 30, 2011 of its intention to no longer pursue the project. AES Solar and 8minuteenergy Renewables subsequently announced on February 17, 2012 their plan to revive the project, changing the technology from solar thermal to photovoltaic, and changing the project name to Mount Signal Solar.
The first phase started construction in 2012 and went online in 2014, providing 266 MWp (206 MWAC) to San Diego Gas & Electric under a 25-year agreement. More than 3 million thin-film CdTe photovoltaic modules from First Solar and 138 skids designed and manufactured by Elettronica Santerno are used. It was the world's largest solar project using single-axis trackers to follow the path of the sun upon completion. The cost for this first unit was $365million.
Phases two and three consist of 200 MWp and 328 MWp of power, respectively, on 3,200 acres (1,300 ha) contracted to Southern California Edison. Phase 2 is expected to be commissioned by 2020, while Phase 3 went online in July 2018. Phase 3 consists of 2.8 million Series 4 thin film panels from First Solar.
The Mount Signal Solar Farm consists of three units, or construction phases:
- Mount Signal 1 – a 266 MWDC (206 MWAC) solar power station using photovoltaics. Construction on the 1,940-acre (790 ha) site began in November 2012 and was completed in May 2014.
- Mount Signal 2 – a proposed 200 MWDC (154 MWAC) solar power station also using photovoltaics on approximately 1,260 acres (510 ha) which is expected to be commissioned by 2020.
- Mount Signal 3 – a 328 MWDC (254 MWAC) solar power station using photovoltaics on 2,000 acres (810 ha) completed in July 2018. American solar PV manufacturer First Solar provided its Series 4 thin-film solar panels for the project, and NEXTracker supplied its NX Horizon smart solar tracker systems.
Mount Signal 1 nameplate capacities: 260 MWdc, 206 MWac
annual net output: 537 GW·h (avg 2015–2017)
capacity factor: 29.7%
- Sterling, Scott (April 5, 2012). "World's largest solar farm coming to Imperial Valley". Southern California Public Radio.
- California Energy Commission (September 29, 2010). "Imperial Valley Solar Project".
- California Energy Commission (August 10, 2011). "Commission Decision and License for the Imperial Valley Solar Project" (PDF).
- "8minutenergy Renewables and AES Solar to Develop 200 MW of Locally Generated Solar Energy for SDG&E Power Purchase Agreement". February 17, 2012.
- "8minutenergy Renewables 266 MW Mount Signal Solar Farm Starts Construction" (Press release). 8minutenergy. November 12, 2012.
- "Santerno to supply inverters for 265-MWp California PV plant". renewablesnow.com. 28 Nov 2012.
- "Mount Signal Solar Is Online: World's Largest Single Axis Solar PV Project". SustainableBusiness.com. 23 May 2015.
- Vorrath, Sophie (May 23, 2014). "World's Largest Tracking Solar PV Plant Completed In California". CleanTechnica.
- "Submission of Contracts for Procurement of Renewable Energy from SCE's 2013 Renewables Portfolio Standard Solicitation" (PDF). Southern California Edition. March 19, 2015.
- "8minutenergy Renewables and Silver Ridge Power to Build Two Solar Projects Totaling 406 MW to Provide Power to Southern California Edison" (Press release). 8minutenergy. August 4, 2014.
- "8minutenergy and Capital Dynamics Announce 328 MW Mount Signal 3 Solar Project" (Press release). 8minutenergy. July 11, 2017.
- Turner, Melanie (November 12, 2012). "8minutenergy begins first phase of 800MW solar project". Sacramento Business Journal.
- "Abengoa completes the construction of the world's largest single-axis photovoltaic plant" (Press release). Abengoa. May 21, 2014.
- 8minutenergy Turns On Phases 1 & 2 Of 328 Megawatt Mount Signal 3 Solar Farm, CleanTechnica, Joshua S Hill, July 12, 2018
- "Mount Signal 1, Monthly". Electricity Data Browser. Energy Information Administration. Retrieved January 1, 2019.