Written by The Business Journal Staff
Westlands Solar Park, an approximately 20,000-acre solar project located near Lemoore, marked the completion of its pilot project, a 2-megawatt solar facility, and announced its contract with the Anaheim Public Utility with a ribbon cutting ceremony on July 26.
The program, which was attended by government, environmental and labor representatives, included remarks from Assemblymember Rudy Salas, City of Anaheim Public Utility Integrated Resources Manager Manny Robledo and Daniel Kim on behalf of Westlands Solar Park’s ownership group, a joint venture between Westside Holdings, a private development group, and CIM Group, a leading real estate and infrastructure investment firm.
“This project shows us how the Central Valley can become a major source of power for the state while bringing clean energy and jobs to the region,” said Salas. “I am pleased to attend the ribbon cutting for this important project. These efforts are directly in line with my bill AB 2630, which seeks to unlock renewable energy development and bring much needed jobs to the Central Valley.”
Westlands Solar Park (WSP), a master planned clean energy solar park, is designed to open in phases to meet the needs of public and private utilities and other energy consumers. At full build out, WSP has the potential to generate more than 2,000 megawatts of renewable energy, which will make it one of the largest solar parks in the United States.
Solar projects such as WSP are key in meeting California’s renewable energy mandate requiring the State to use 50 percent renewable energy resources by 2030. The phased implementation strategy allows WSP to produce and provide solar power in a cost-effective manner to meet both market and customer demand.
“Anaheim Public Utilities is committed to providing its residents and businesses with safe, reliable and sustainable resources at competitive rates,” said Anaheim Public Utilities General Manager Dukku Lee. “The Westlands Power Park will contribute to Anaheim’s goal of providing 50% of its energy from renewable resources by 2030.”
At full build out, WSP will be the largest solar and clean energy park in the U.S. Situated in western Fresno and Kings counties in the southern portion of the Westlands Water District, it is included as part of a larger environmental study by the Westlands Water District that is expected to be certified by the end of 2016. At that time it will be one of the few renewable energy zones in the state that is entitled under the California Environmental Quality Act.