Solar power plant in Nevada commissioned to serve California

The panels are designed to track the sun from east to west each day

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LAS VEGAS (AP) — Officials have flipped the switch on a $1 billion solar power generation station in the Mojave Desert south of Las Vegas that they say can produce enough electricity to power about 80,000 California homes.

Officials with Arizona-based First Solar and Florida-based NextEra Energy Resources said at a ceremony Thursday that the project, dubbed Silver State South, will provide up to 250 MW of power to Southern California Edison under a long-term contract.

It took about two years to build the solar power array in Nevada near the state line town of Primm.

Officials say it has more than 3.4 million thin-film photovoltaic solar panels, spread across almost 4 square miles of federal land off Interstate 15.

The panels are designed to track the sun from east to west each day.

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