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Tuesday, Oct 01 2013 06:00 AM

Dignitaries help dedicate world's eighth largest solar field near Rosamond

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State Senator Jean Fuller addresses attendees of a celebration to dedicate the newly completed Catalina Solar Project, Friday, Sept. 27, at EDF Renewable Energy's facility on Tehachapi-Willow Springs Road. The project, the eighth-largest of its kind in the world, is planned to provide enough electricity to power 35,000 homes. Gregory D. Cook / Tehachapi News

Kern County Supervisor Zack Scrivner speaks about Kern County's continued contributions to the renewable energy industry at the dedication of EDF Renewable Energy's Catalina Solar Project, Friday, Sept. 27. Gregory D. Cook / Tehachapi News

EDF Renewable Energy's president and chief executive officer, Tristan Grimbert explains how his company's latest project, the 900-acre Catalina Solar Project southeast of Tehachapi grew from dream to realization during a dedication ceremony Friday, Sept. 27. Gregory D. Cook / Tehachapi News

Dignitaries from the state and county join executives from EDF Renewable Energy onstage for a photo during the company's dedication of the Catalina Solar Project, Friday, Sept. 27, at EDF Renewable Energy's facility on Tehachapi-Willow Springs Road. Gregory D. Cook / Tehachapi News

Local politicians, state representatives and members of the public gathered in Rosamond on the morning of Sept. 27, to celebrate the dedication of the Catalina Solar project -- the world's eighth largest solar field.

The project, located on 900 acres of privately owned land southwest of the Tehachapi Mountains, represents French utility, EDF Nouvelles Energies' largest utility-scale solar photovoltaic project to date.

Comprised of over 1.1 million thin film photovoltaic modules, which includes 82 megawatts of Solar Frontier and 61 MW First Solar PV modules, the field produces 143 MW -- enough electricity to power 35,000 homes.

EDF's American subsidiary, EDF Renewable Services will provide the long-term operations and maintenance services for the project, which began construction in May 2012, and became operational in two phases. The first in December 2012, and the second in August of 2013.

The solar plant will provide solar energy to San Diego Gas and Electric Company through a 25-year contract.

EDF Renewable Energy, will ensure the operation and maintenance of the photovoltaic plant.

On hand for the dedication was State Senator Jean Fuller, Assemblymember Steve Fox, Matt Burkhart vice president of electric and fuel procurement for San Diego Gas and Electric, David Hochschild commissioner from the California Energy Commission, Director of Kern County Planning and Community Development Lorelei Oviatt and Kern County Supervisor Zack Scrivner.

According to Scrivner, Kern County has already permitted over 8,000 MW of renewable energy, which he attributes to the county's business-friendly, streamlined permitting process with full environmental review.

"California is leading the nation in renewable energy, but we here in Kern County know that Kern County leads California in renewable energy," Scrivner said "Most of it is happening right here in the second district, and so it's really an honor and a privilege to be able to represent the district where all the excitement is occurring."

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