Nation’s largest solar farm gets bigger

The Sun Gazette

8 Minute Solar, developers of the Rexford 1 Solar Project, recently announced plans to develop the second phase of the project, or Rexford 2, near the town of Ducor in southeastern Tulare County. Approved by Tulare County in 2020, Rexford 1 was by already the largest solar farm in the nation estimated to generate 700 megawatts (MW) with another 700 MW of battery storage on 3,614 acres. Now, with phase 2, 8 Minute Solar (named for the amount of time it takes for the sun’s light to reach the Earth) is building a 500 MW system with 500 MW of storage on 1,200 acres near the original project for a combined 1,200 MW of solar energy and 1,200 MW of storage. Phase 1 is expected to begin operation this spring.

The electricity generated by the project will primarily provide power for 370,000 residents in Southern California. In September 2020, 8 Minute Solar signed a 15-year power purchase agreement (PPA) with Clean Power Alliance to sell 400 MW from the first phase of its Rexford Solar & Storage Center when it becomes operational in 2023. Clean Power Alliance serves approximately 3 million customers and 1 million customer accounts across 32 communities throughout unincorporated Los Angeles County and Ventura County as well as the cities of Agoura Hills, Alhambra, Arcadia, Beverly Hills, Calabasas, Camarillo, Claremont, Carson, Culver City, Downey, Hawaiian Gardens, Hawthorne, Malibu, Manhattan Beach, Moorpark, Ojai, Oxnard, Paramount, Redondo Beach, Rolling Hills Estates, Santa Monica, Sierra Madre, Simi Valley, South Pasadena, Temple City, Thousand Oaks, Ventura, West Hollywood, Westlake Village and Whittier.

The Rexford Solar project will offset about 600,000 tons of CO2 annually, or the equivalent of planting 12,000 trees every day for 10 years in those communities. In Tulare County, the project has created 400 well-paying union construction jobs, approximately 1,000 indirect jobs, in addition to contributing more than $200 million to the local economy over the life of the project. The investment, construction and operational inflows to Tulare County represent a huge economic boost for decades to come.

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