Bechtel built the Catalina Solar Photovoltaic Generating Facility and designed the 110-megawatt alternating-current solar plant. Catalina Solar produces enough electricity to power some 35,000 homes. “This project is helping make solar more cost competitive with other sources of energy and advancing solar’s use worldwide.” said Toby Seay, president of Bechtel Power.
Bechtel Company built the Catalina Solar Facility on 1,100 acres (445 hectares) in the Mojave Desert. It includes a 7.2-mile (11.6-kilometer) transmission line that connects Catalina to a substation. Built for EDF Renewable Energy, the project consists of more than 1.1 million solar photovoltaic panels and is estimated to offset 74,000 metric tons of greenhouse gas emissions annually.
“Catalina Solar is really two projects in one,” said Bechtel Project Manager Jarrett Cantrell. “There’s a 50-megawatt [AC] solar plant in one configuration and a 60-megawatt [AC] plant in a completely different configuration. Each required that we develop our own innovative design and construction process.”
The two configurations derived from the use of two different thin-film photovoltaic solar cells provided by the owner. One has an exterior frame and uses copper, indium, gallium, and selenide. The other sandwiches between glass a semiconductor material and a cadmium telluride layer. The separate designs required different methods of panel fabrication, transportation, and installation.
Catalina Solar helps owner EDF Renewable Energy meet California’s goal of getting one-third of its energy from renewable sources by 2020.
In addition to environmental benefits, the Catalina Solar project boosted the local economy. “The project has been an important source of direct and indirect economic activity in Kern County, including over 500 workers onsite during construction,” said Mark Tholke, a vice president of EDF Renewable Energy.
Source : Bechtel Company