Eaton Inverters Help Power California Redwood Farm

PITTSBURGH, PA –Power management company Eaton announced multiple contracts to provide solar inverters, electrical distribution equipment and services for the 72.9-megawatt Redwood Solar Farm in Kern County, California. The project, developed by sPower and 8minutenergy Renewables, is expected to generate 146 million kilowatt-hours (kWh) of sustainable electricity annually to power approximately 9,200 California homes and reduce greenhouse gas emissions equivalent to removing approximately 21,000 passenger vehicles from the road over the same time period. The installation will also help local utilities meet the California Renewables Portfolio Standard of generating 33 percent of power from renewable resources by 2020. The terms of this contract were not disclosed.

“This project will demonstrate California’s national leadership in developing clean, renewable power generation to support the energy needs of communities and businesses,” said Kleber Facchini, solar inverter product manager, Eaton. “Through Eaton’s proven solar solutions and the project team’s technical expertise and impressive track record, this installation will provide a national model for the large-scale potential of renewable power generation.”

Located on 345 acres of low productivity farmland, the 72.9 MW-direct current (dc) project is the first phase in what could ultimately be a larger solar project. sPower and 8minutenergy expect Redwood Solar Farm to begin generating clean sustainable power in June to August 2015. Once the aggregated solar project is complete, Southern California Edison (SCE), Pacific Gas and Electric Company (PG&E) and the City of Palo Alto Utilities will receive the power produced from the solar arrays to power California homes and businesses through signed Power Purchase Agreements (PPA).

The photovoltaic (PV) projects will tap Eaton solutions and services to help maximize energy harvest, while reducing installation costs and simplifying maintenance. Under the contracts, Eaton will supply its Power Xpert 1670-kilowatt (kW) solar inverters and direct-coupled, Cooper Power series transformers, which are designed to help increase electrical resiliency in large commercial and utility-scale, grid-connect applications. The project will also incorporate a range of additional Eaton power distribution solutions, including: custom AC switchboards for convenient auxiliary power, and group mounted 1000 Vdc Crouse-Hinds series solar disconnects, as well as startup and commissioning services for enhanced system safety and reliability.

Eaton received the contracts from Gehrlicher Solar America Corp., which previously signed an agreement with 8minutenergy to lead engineering, procurement, construction (EPC) and commissioning for the project.

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