8minutenergy Renewables, LLC today hosted a groundbreaking event for construction of the 137MW-dc (105MW-ac) Springbok 1 Solar Farm, located 70 miles north of Los Angeles in Kern County, Calif.
Springbok 1 Solar Farm has a signed Power Purchase Agreement (PPA) with the Southern California Public Power Authority (SCPPA), on behalf of the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power (LADWP). The Springbok 1 project is a utility-scale solar generation facility sited on up to about 700 acres of abandoned farmland taken out of production more than 20 years ago.
"This is an exciting day for everyone involved in the Springbok 1 project, as we move one step closer to providing clean energy to the people of Los Angeles," said 8minutenergy Chief Executive Officer Martin Hermann. "We began Springbok 1 in 2011, and the solar farm is yet another example of 8minutenergy delivering projects from conception to construction."
Once it reaches commercial operations in June 2016, the Springbok 1 project is expected to displace the equivalent of approximately 300,000 metric tons of carbon dioxide (CO2) per year, which is equal to the amount that roughly 12 million trees would displace annually. The solar farm project has also created an estimated 300 direct and 400 indirect jobs during construction in Kern County, and 8minutenergy has helped host local job fairs with the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW).
"Each step of this process we have enjoyed strong working relationships with SCPPA/LADWP and the Kern County Planning and Development Department, among other local and community organizations," said 8minutenergy President Tom Buttgenbach. "Add to that the economic impact the project is having in the region, and we believe this project is a model for productive private and public partnership."