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Client:
ARCO
Location:
Carrisa Plains, CA, U.S.
ARCO Solar Photovoltaic Power Plant - EPC
Fluor provided engineering, procurement, and construction services for the world’s first ever large-scale photovoltaic power plant in Carrisa Plains, California.
 
Client's Challenge
Solar Photovoltaic Panels EPC
ARCO Solar contracted with Fluor to build a photovoltaic power plant capable of producing five megawatts of electric power. The solar energy was converted directly from sunlight through silicon wafers arranged in panels that were assembled in an array. The array was mounted on a tracker assembly that follows the sun in both azimuth and elevation to optimize wafer exposure.
 
The power plant was located within five miles of the San Andreas Fault and a stringent dynamic seismic analysis was required before the project began.
 
Fluor's Solution
Solar Photovoltaic Power Plant EPC
Fluor built ARCO’s photovoltaic power plant in less than six months.
 
The first phase of the 16-MWe solar field produced five megawatts of electric power. Because the power plant was being constructed less than five miles from the San Andreas Fault, a dynamic seismic analysis was performed for plant structures using the design response spectra with base accelerations of 0.5g. The unusual tracker configuration was dimensionally modeled and subjected to wind tunnel tests to accurately determine its susceptibility to wind-induced aero-elastic instabilities such as divergence, vortex shedding, buffeting, and flutter. The data gathered was used in the final tracker array structural review.
 
The DC power produced from each of the 756 two-axis trackers was fed to an inverter for conversion to alternating current. The inverter output was then stepped sequentially to 12 kV and then to 115 kV for intertie with the Pacific Gas and Electric Utility system.
 
Conclusion
Photovoltaic Power Plant Engineering, Procurement, and Construction
Fluor provided engineering, procurement, and construction services to ARCO for the world’s largest photovoltaic power plant in Carrisa Plains, California. The project produced five megawatts of electric power before it was decommissioned in 1995.
 
With renewed interest in renewable power, Fluor is well positioned to assist our Clients in developing solar energy to meet increased global demand.
 
Technologies
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