Another huge solar panel farm opens in California


Just months after the world’s largest solar panel farm, called Topaz, was turned on outside of San Luis Obispo, Calif., on Monday a similarly-large solar panel farm is being officially dedicated in Riverside County. The solar farm is called Desert Sunlight, and it — like Topaz — has enough capacity for 550 MW, and can produce enough solar electricity for 160,000 homes.

The Topaz solar farm. The Topaz solar farm.

Desert Sunlight, which was was quietly finished in mid-January, was installed on land managed by the Federal Bureau of Land Management, and, like Topaz, is using solar panels from First Solar. NextEra Energy, GE Energy Financial Services and Sumitomo Corporation of America own Desert Sunlight and the project used guarantees from the U.S. government to back $1.4 billion in loans.

The U.S. government’s loan program took the opportunity of the Desert Sunlight dedication to tout how its loan guarantees helped spur the…

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