SolarWorld, the largest U.S. crystalline silicon solar manufacturer, is supplying 17.5 megawatts of its high-efficiency 72-cell solar panels for a project that the Valley Electric Association (VEA) is undertaking in the Mojave Desert town of Pahrump, west of Las Vegas near the Nevada border with California.
The project, composed of solar panels, inverters, racking and other materials manufactured in the United States, will comprise 51,562 340-watt modules made in SolarWorld’s expanding factory at its headquarters for the Americas in Hillsboro, Oregon. It also is one of the biggest U.S. utility projects that SolarWorld has supplied.
Bombard Renewable Energy, a SolarWorld commercial and residential authorized installer and longtime business partner, is conducting engineering, procurement and construction for the project. Bombard Renewable Energy is a division of Bombard Electric LLC, an indirect, wholly owned subsidiary of MDU Resources Group Inc. and a Nevada contractor since 1982.
VEA and Bombard have collaborated with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to protect Mojave Desert tortoises inhabiting the 80-acre project site in northern Pahrump. Aside from design and construction innovations, resulting measures will include research and monitoring to gauge the impact of solar installations on plants, animals and birds.
“SolarWorld applauds the multiple ways that this project will fulfill the interests of sustainability,” said Mukesh Dulani, U.S. president of SolarWorld. “First, of course, the VEA is tapping the abundant energy falling from the sun onto its market territory. Second, it’s taking extra steps to conserve the surrounding desert habitat. Finally, it’s undertaking a system built of domestically produced goods, which not only avert needless shipping emissions but also embody the high labor, environmental and quality standards of American producers.”
Project completion is expected by summer.
Image credit: By Fred Morledge (Self-photographed) [CC BY-SA 2.5 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.5)], via Wikimedia Commons