US billionaire Warren Buffett’s subsidiary firm has struck a deal with Sunpower to build what could be the largest solar development in the world.
MidAmerican Solar, a subsidiary of Mr Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway investment company, announced it has acquired two solar projects in California for which it will pay between $2 billion (£1.2bn) to $2.5 billion (£1.5bn). The two Antelope Valley Solar Projects (AVSP) will be built in Kern and Los Angeles counties and is expected to generate 579MW of electricity.
According to estimates from the US Environmental Protection Agency, the project is expected to offset more than 775,000 tons of carbon emissions every year – equivalent to removing almost three million cars from California’s roads over 20 years of the plant’s operation. It is also expected to create around 650 jobs during construction.
Howard Wenger, SunPower’s President said: “The Antelope Valley Solar Projects mark a historic milestone for the energy industry. We are delivering highly reliable low-cost renewable energy at a very large scale. SunPower is proud to partner with MidAmerican Solar and SCE, recognised leaders in clean energy development, bringing critically needed jobs and economic opportunity to California and helping the state achieve its renewable portfolio requirement.”
The AVSP will provide renewable energy to Southern California Edison (SCE) under two long-term power purchase contracts. The construction is expected to begin later this year and end by 2015.