California-based Cleantech America has said that CalRenew-1, a utility-scale PV solar project to be interconnected to PG&E’s transmission system under California’s Renewables Portfolio Standard (RPS) program, has commenced commercial operation.

The 5MW project, developed by Cleantech America, will provide peaking solar electricity to PG&E under a long-term power purchase agreement.

Development and construction of CalRenew-1, which consists of more than 50,000 solar panels covering almost 50 acres, has created scores of green collar jobs and solar installer training opportunities in the Central Valley, the company said.

CalRenew-1 is expected to help California meet its renewable energy and carbon reduction goals. Avoided emissions from CalRenew-1 will be an estimated 6.3 million lbs/year of CO2, plus 6,905 lbs/year of NOx and 5,451 lbs/year of SO2.

Bill Overholt, CEO of Cleantech America, said: ”We are proud that CalRenew-1 is the first such solar facility to achieve commercial operation and we look forward to providing PG&E with zero emission, peaking solar power.

”CalRenew-1 moves California one step further into its renewable energy future and demonstrates the viability of utility-scale PV solar as a renewable peaking resource.”

Cleantech America is the US renewable development subsidiary of Meridian Energy of Wellington, New Zealand. The company said that CalRenew-1 is its first US solar farm to go into operation and is a model for its US growth strategy.