California Gets First Utility-Scale PV Plant

September 07, 1999 by Jeff Shepard

The Renewable Energy Marketing Board (REMB) announced that California's first commercial utility-scale solar power plant will be located in Hopland, California, and will begin selling its electricity into the state electric grid later this month. The 132kW array of photovoltaic panels will be built, owned and operated by GPU Solar and located at the Real Goods Solar Living Center in Hopland, a 12-acre demonstration site intended to highlight new cutting-edge technologies designed to foster a more sustainable lifestyle. The power generated by the PV panels will be purchased by (South Burlington, VT) to be included as part of the Green Mountain Energy power blends which are made up of 100 percent renewable energy sources. The power plant consists of four independent structures that will take one month to construct. The town of Hopland, located about two hours north of San Francisco, is claimed to have more PV per capita than any other city in the world. The Real Goods Solar Living Center boasts an average of 150,000 visitors every year."California consumers can help stimulate advances in renewable energy technologies," stated REMB Executive Director Steven Kelly. "Since solar energy has always been a favorite of consumers, I'm glad to see develop a facility that can be easily expanded to respond to demands of consumers for green electricity."