Florida-based BlueChip Energy plans to expand Sorrento Solar Farm project in Lake County, Florida, to 120 MW from 40 MW, seeks investors, strategic partner; Progress Energy Florida to buy expected output of 192 million kWh/year

LOS ANGELES , September 23, 2011 () – BlueChip Energy LLC has expanded its proposed Sorrento Solar Farm in Lake County, Florida, to 120 megawatts (MW) of capacity from the 40 MW originally planned, reported Global Solar Technology on Sept. 21.

To accommodate the larger project, the Lake Mary, Florida-based solar power producer has added 300 acres to the original 160-acre site.

In opening the next round of funding for the expansion, BlueChip Energy has begun talks with investors and strategic partners that are interested, Global Solar Technology reported.

Within Florida, the originally-planned Sorrento Solar Farm was already to be the largest in Florida. The expanded project is even larger than the 115 MW of solar projects under development statewide, and three times the size of the 50-MW utility-scale projects now operating in Florida.

Progress Energy Florida, a subsidiary of Raleigh, North Carolina-based utility Progress Energy Inc., has agreed to purchase all of the Sorrento Solar Farm’s anticipated output of 192 kilowatt hours per year.

BlueChip Energy’s “completely integrated solar business model” allow it to keep its costs “considerably lower” when developing large-scale solar projects than its competitors, said Thomas Gregory, the company’s chief strategy officer.

The farm will employ nearly 150 manufacturing workers, as well as create 250 construction jobs.

The BCE Group’s wholly-owned subsidiary Advanced Solar Photonics has a 318,000-square-foot, 100-MW facility in Lake Mary that makes solar equipment, according to the company’s website.

On July 1, the company announced that it had selected the Smart Module 400-GSM Series module from Advanced Solar Photonics for the 40-MW Sorrento Solar Farm, according to a press release on BlueChip Energy’s website.

The primary source of this article is Global Solar Technology, Dorset, England, on Sept. 21, 2011.

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