EDF Renewables Launches Full Operations for Palen Solar Farm


EDF Renewables North America’s (EDFR) Palen Solar site is fully operational and delivering decarbonized energy to the grid. The site consists of four projects totaling 620 MW DC of solar photovoltaic (PV), plus 200 MWh of battery energy storage.

The projects, which utilize horizontal single-axis tracking technology, are located adjacent to each other on unincorporated land in Riverside County, Calif., administered by the Federal Bureau of Land Management (BLM). The BLM designated this area as a Solar Energy Zone (SEZ) and Development Focus Area – land set aside for utility-scale renewable energy development.

The sites are Maverick 1 at 173 MW DC (125 MW AC), Maverick 4 at 137 MW DC (100 MW AC), Maverick 6 at 131 MW DC (100 MW AC) plus 200 MWh (50 MW) battery storage, and Maverick 7 at 179 MW DC (132 MW AC).

In addition to economic benefits for Riverside County, including an average local spend of $24,000 a month during construction, the projects combined generate enough decarbonized energy to meet the consumption of up to 217,000 average California homes. This is equivalent to avoiding more than 1 million metric tons of CO₂ emissions annually which represents the greenhouse gas emissions from 227,000 gasoline-powered passenger vehicles driven over the course of one year.

Construction activity commenced in early 2020 with Maverick 1 and Maverick 4, followed by Maverick 6 and Maverick 7 in early 2021. The projects were completed in sequence starting in December 2020. At peak construction, the sites employed over 500 personnel, majority of which were local to Riverside County.

“The Maverick projects are the cornerstone of our large-scale solar and storage growth and expertise,” comment Benoit Rigal, senior vice president of implementation and projects management for EDFR. “The renewable energy industry has experienced significant volatility over the past years battling both unprecedented pandemic and supply chain constraints. We are excited to now have all four projects operating at full capacity and to contribute to California’s climate goal to reduce greenhouse gas emissions to 40 percent below 1990 levels by 2030.”

EDF Renewables’ Asset Optimization group will perform operations and maintenance services for the life of the project. The group will provide NERC compliance support, remote monitoring and balance-of-plant management to maximize power production.

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