AVSP could capture 25% more solar

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The first few days of 2013 have demonstrated that interest in utility-scale solar power is not a thing of the past with one of the largest solar power acquisitions by MidAmerican Solar, a subsidiary of Warren Buffett's utility MidAmerican Energy Holdings.

MidAmerican has added to its more than 1,830 MW renewable energy portfolio with the acquisition of SunPower's 579 MW Antelope Valley Solar Projects (AVSP). The deal could net as much as $2.5 billion, but the total value has yet to be confirmed.

After four years in development, the two co-located projects that comprise AVSP will form the largest permitted solar photovoltaic power development in the world. SunPower will install its modular technology used to rapidly deploy utility-scale solar projects while minimizing land use. The technology uses highly efficient solar panels and a sun tracker system to increase energy capture by up to 25 percent.

The power from both units will be purchased by Southern California Edison. Construction will begin in the first quarter of 2013 and will be completed by the end of 2015.

The project could offset more than 775,000 tons of carbon dioxide emissions per year -- equivalent to removing almost three million cars from to road -- over 20 years, according to estimates from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

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