McCoy Solar Energy Project

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McCoy Solar Energy Project
CountryUnited States
LocationRiverside County, California
Coordinates33°43′00″N 114°45′00″W / 33.71667°N 114.75000°W / 33.71667; -114.75000Coordinates: 33°43′00″N 114°45′00″W / 33.71667°N 114.75000°W / 33.71667; -114.75000
Construction beganNovember 2014
Commission dateJune 2016
Owner(s)NextEra Energy Resources
Solar farm
TypeFlat-panel PV
Site area2,300 acres (9.31 km2)
Power generation
Nameplate capacity250 MWAC
Capacity factor34.0% (average 2017)
Annual net output745 GW·h, 325 MW·h/acre

The McCoy Solar Energy Project is a 250 megawatt (MWAC) photovoltaic power plant near the city of Blythe in Riverside County, California. [1] It occupies about 2,300 acres of mostly public land in the Mojave Desert. The construction uses CdTe thin film panels from First Solar, and the output is being sold to Southern California Edison under a power purchase agreement.[2]

The project is located adjacent to the 235 MW Blythe Solar Energy Center, together forming a larger 485 MW complex. The 550MW Desert Sunlight Solar Farm is located approximately 40miles west in Riverside County. The 450 MW Desert Quartzite project by First Solar, which got preliminary approval in early 2020,[3] is also in the area.[4]


The project was initially proposed in early 2013 for a final capacity of 750MW, making it potentially one of the world's largest solar plants.[2] The planning process through both state and federal agencies was placed on an expedited approval path.[5][6] The first construction phase of 250MW started generating energy in August 2015, and reached its full capacity in June 2016.[7] Completion of the remaining 500MW is pending identification of a buyer for the electricity.[8]

Electricity Production[edit]

Generation (MW·h) of McCoy Solar Energy Project [7]
Year Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Total
2015 11,848 15,276 13,102 15,127 19,238 74,591
2016 24,621 40,810 54,194 60,217 79,264 79,674 79,217 75,872 64,449 57,029 44,431 34,600 694,378
2017 29,558 33,015 61,716 65,851 83,976 90,961 82,832 76,632 71,409 65,788 40,665 42,785 745,186
Average Annual Production (2017 745,000

See also[edit]


  1. ^ NextEra's McCoy Solar Energy Project
  2. ^ a b McCoy Project Timeline
  3. ^
  4. ^ Jennifer A. Dlouhy. "Trump Approves First Solar's Mega-Farm in California Desert". Bloomberg. Retrieved 2020-01-18.
  5. ^ Secretary Salazar Announces Milestone on McCoy Solar Energy Project, Caps Strong Year for Renewable Energy Development on Public Lands
  6. ^ 750MW McCoy Solar Project Put on Fast Track for Development
  7. ^ a b "McCoy Solar Energy Project, Monthly". Electricity Data Browser. Energy Information Administration. Retrieved February 1, 2019.
  8. ^ World's largest solar plant opens in Riverside County, The Desert Sun, February 10, 2015