Owens Lake has caught the eyes of Los Angeles officials, and they have plans to create a huge solar farm in the area. A solar farm that would be amongst the largest in the world. What once used to be a lake is now just a dry piece of land with ample sunshine, and that has brought the area into the consideration of Los Angeles Department of Water and Power (DWP).
If the area is completely covered, it may generate as much as 3-5 gigawatts of power, which is nearly 10% of California’s energy needs. But that will have to wait for sometime. The project is still in the conceptual stage.
The city plans to build a pilot project of 6 to 10 Megawatts over 80 acres by 2011, at a cost of $40 million. If all goes well, the capacity will be increased to 250 MW by 2014. Ultimately, other utilities may be invited to join in for the project. For success, the solar panels will have to bear dust storms and certain other hostile conditions.