34°56′N | 118°20′W

Catalina Solar Photovoltaic Generating Facility, California, USA Overview

Scope of Work Engineering, procurement, and construction
Value $299.8 million
Schedule 2012–2013
Business Infrastructure

Helping meet California's demand for renewable energy

Bechtel built the Catalina Solar Photovoltaic Generating Facility and designed the 110-megawatt alternating-current solar plant. Catalina Solar produces enough electricity to power some 35,000 homes. This project is helping make solar more cost competitive with other sources of energy and advancing solar’s use worldwide.

Catalina Solar is EDF Renewable Energy’s largest photovoltaic project and the sixth-largest photovoltaic plant in the United States. The project's clean energy helps meet new California environmental mandates by improving overall air quality.

Helping make California's solar energy industry a reality

In addition to the Catalina project, Bechtel has built two other solar facilities in California: Ivanpah Solar Electric Generating System, the world’s largest concentrating solar thermal power facility, and California Valley Solar Ranch, one of the world’s largest photovoltaic facilities. Our early experience on those two projects benefited the Catalina effort.

Project delivering clean solar energy on a utility scale

We built the Catalina Solar Facility on 1,100 acres (445 hectares) in the Mojave Desert. It includes a 7.2-mile (11.6-kilometer) transmission line that connects Catalina to a substation. Built for EDF Renewable Energy, the project comprises more than 1.1 million solar photovoltaic panels and is estimated to offset 74,000 metric tons of greenhouse gas emissions annually.

Bechtel's Catalina Solar project team connected and tested more than a million solar panels—some 10,000 per day.

Catalina Solar is really two projects in one,” said Bechtel Project Manager Jarrett Cantrell. “There’s a 50-megawatt [AC] solar plant in one configuration and a 60-megawatt [AC] plant in a completely different configuration. Each required that we develop our own innovative design and construction process."

The two configurations derived from the use of two different thin-film photovoltaic solar cells provided by the owner. One has an exterior frame and uses copper, indium, gallium, and selenide. The other sandwiches between glass a semiconductor material and a cadmium telluride layer. The separate designs required different methods of panel fabrication, transportation, and installation.

Environmental and economic boost

Catalina Solar helps owner EDF Renewable Energy meet California’s goal of getting one-third of its energy from renewable sources by 2020.  Customers of San Diego Gas & Electric receive the energy under a 25-year power-purchase agreement between the utility and EDF Renewable.

Sub-array installation

Pylon installation