Solar facility opens in Kern County desert

BAKERSFIELD, Calif. - A new solar facility has begun operation in the Kern County desert.  Array Technologies, Inc. (ATI), recently celebrated the commencement of commercial operation at the Garland Solar Facility southwest of Rosamond.

ATI’s solar trackers were selected for the 200 megawatt (MW) solar plant located on 2,000 acres of desert, where robust trackers that can withstand extreme conditions are particularly important. Signal Energy provided turnkey engineering, procurement and construction services for the Garland solar plant.

ATI’s DuraTrack® HZ v3 single-axis tracker is designed with engineered simplicity, minimizing failure points. This intrinsically increases reliability and performance under any conditions – even in the desert-like setting found at the Garland facility.

The desert conditions and high winds that pervade this particular area of Kern County can form sand dunes and extreme temperatures that have the potential to impact the operations of the solar plant. ATI officials say their products are ideal for these challenging conditions. The trackers are equipped with fully lubricated and sealed-for-life gear boxes and require zero scheduled maintenance for a 30-year design life.

In addition to their unrivaled reliability, the trackers also include failure-free load mitigation for high winds and sand dune build up. The load mitigation is fully automatic and does not rely on back-up power such as batteries or uninterrupted power sources.

ATI trackers use industrial-grade components with wide temperature ratings: -30°F to 140°F (-34°C to 60°C). These innovations combine to optimize functionality in harsh environments and desert-like conditions.

"From concept to completion, Signal Energy harnesses creative energy through value engineering on all its renewable energy projects and ATI’s trackers helped us get there on the Garland solar plant,” said Ben Fischer, CEO of Signal Energy Constructors. “We are proud to be building our country’s clean energy future.” 

“Over 28 years we have seen that our reliable, quality product delivers the best results and lowest LCOE for our customers no matter where we install,” said Ron Corio, ATI founder and CEO. “ATI’s proven experience in harsh conditions is supporting our global growth, especially in regions home to desert environments such as the Middle East and North Africa, and parts of Latin America.”

The electricity and associated renewable energy credits (RECs) generated by the Garland facility will be sold under two long-term power purchase agreements with Southern California Edison (SCE), which will have the option to keep or sell the RECs.

Array Technologies is the leader in 2015 solar tracker shipments in the U.S., as reported in GTM Research's report 'The Global PV Tracker Landscape 2016: Prices, Forecasts, Market Shares and Vendor Profiles.'


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