San Luis Obispo County, California USA
Located on the northwestern corner of the Carrisa Plains, the 550 megawatt Topaz Solar Farm will produce sufficient electricity to power 160,000 average California homes. The Topaz location was selected after an extensive review of potential sites in California which considered the available solar resource, proximity to existing electrical transmission lines, current land uses, and environmental sensitivities.
Economic benefits include an estimated $417 million in positive impacts, including property and sales tax revenues for the County, wages from direct and indirect employment, induced spending and supply chain revenues.
- Enough power for 160,000 average homes
- Displaces 377,000 tons of CO2 annually—equivalent to taking 73,000 cars off the road
- Lowest environmental impact of any PV technology
- No water used for electricity generation
- Full economic benefits summary
- $192 million in compensation for approximately 400 construction jobs over a 3-year period
- $52 million in economic output for local suppliers
- $14 million in sales taxes during construction and up to $400,000 per year in new property tax revenues
- Proposed 30kW solar array for Carrisa Plains Elementary School to support solar learning opportunities
- Cuesta College vocational solar training supported with 5kW array and meteorological station
First Solar is committed to being a good neighbor, working with the community to address issues through open communication. Topaz is sited on largely non-prime, actively tilled agricultural land that has limited productivity. At the northwestern edge of the Carrisa Plains, Topaz is more than six miles from the more sensitive habitats in the Carrizo Plain National Monument. We work to meet the community’s needs by supporting local events and initiatives, offering educational benefits for local schools and universities, and providing information on the Topaz Solar Farm and the benefits of solar energy.