Construction crews are putting the finishing touches on what is now the largest combined solar farm in Orange County and one of the most unique in the United States. 37,544 solar panels capable of generating nearly 13 megawatts of energy occupy a total of 24 acres.
The first site is atop a coal combustion byproduct landfill at OUC’s Stanton Energy Center in East Orange County. The space which is already devoid of trees is perfect for solar. The second site sits on what was three decades ago originally designed for a future coal plant. Both sites which were simultaneously constructed will produce enough energy produced to power nearly 2,100 homes once connected to the electric grid later this summer.
OUC will be receiving the energy in the form of a Power Purchase Agreement, meaning a third party owns and operates the sites, for at least the next 20 years. This partnership allows OUC to leverage economic benefits that would not typically be available to them, bringing solar to their customers at price that is very competitive with traditional fossil fuels.
Five years ago, OUC unveiled the area’s first solar farm – a nearly 6 megawatt field – also at its Stanton Energy Center. In 2017, OUC will have doubled its solar energy production and continues to wisely invest in other renewable energy such as landfill methane gas.