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Riverside County opens solar power plant, one of world’s largest

Power is now being produced at one of the world’s largest solar projects and it’s close to home.

With a flip of the switch, US Secretary of Interior Sally Jewell joined 150 national, state and local leaders Monday to celebrate the shining start of Desert Sunlight Solar Farm.

They toured the more than 3.6 acre power plant located in Desert Center, about 45 minutes east of the Coachella Valley.

First Solar started the project in 2011 and now more than 8.1 million modules are fully operational, producing 550 megawatts of electricity. The solar farm is capable of generating enough clean energy to power 160,000 california homes.

“This is a special place it’s blessed with year around sun. What’s happening behind me is taking advantage of that sun for our nation’s economy.”

The power generated is being provided to Southern California Edison and Pacific Gas & Electric Company, both under long-term contracts.

The goal is to create more jobs and power plants like it.

“We’re going to work our way through projects like this over the next 20 years. It’s not going as fast as people thought. With the governor pushing renewable to 50 percent.”

Jewell thanks Riverside County for lighting the path toward a more sustainable future.

“Thank you for providing the labor and resources and the support and encouragement to do future projects that’s even better,” Jewell.

KESQ News Team

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