SunPower has announced the start of construction work on the 56MW Gala Solar Power Plant in Crook County in the US state of Oregon.

The solar power plant is considered to be the largest of its kind in the state and it is expected to be operational by the end of this year.

The project is expected create about 300 jobs during the construction phase.

For this project, SunPower will be installing its E-Series solar modules, which are claimed to be highly-efficient and produce more MWh of energy per acre of land, while optimising returns when compared to conventional solar modules.

The company said that the site will see the installation of SunPower’s Oasis platform in order to increae its energy production in the long-term.

The Oasis platform is claimed to have about half as much parts than conventional solar plant system and an integrated solar tracker design which can streamline construction and reduce operations and maintenance costs.

Moss will act as the general contractor for the project.

SunPower Americas Power Plants vice president Ty Daul said: "While solar is cost-competitive today, SunPower is continuing to drive the cost of energy down through innovation and integrated complete solutions such as our Oasis platform.

"We're pleased to contribute to economic development in Oregon with the construction of this milestone project."

Oregon Governor Kate Brown said: "I've often said that in Oregon, we don't believe economic development and environmental stewardship are mutually exclusive ideas.

"The approximately 300 jobs expected to be created by the Gala Solar Power Plant are proof we can grow our rural communities and support a vibrant and innovative renewable energy industry."

Image: SunPower begins construction of 56MW solar plant in Oregon. Photo: Courtesy of start08/