Capital Dynamics & First Solar Commission 280 MW Californian Flats Solar Project

Capital Dynamics & First Solar Commission 280 MW Californian Flats Solar Project

Capital Dynamics, an independent global private asset management firm and First Solar have announced the completion and commercial operation of the 280-megawatt (MW) California Flats Solar Project.

Capital Dynamics & First Solar

The project is located on approximately 2,900 acres of ranch land within the Jack Ranch owned by Hearst, near the borders of San Luis Obispo and Monterey County in California.

The project partners placed significant emphasis on successfully co-locating the project with one of the largest working cattle ranches in the United States while minimizing and mitigating the environmental impact of constructing the solar plant. The project, which covers approximately three percent of the area of the ranch, was built in two phases and is fully contracted under two long-term PPAs serving both utility and corporate renewable customers. First Solar completed development and constructed the facility after acquiring the project in 2015. Capital Dynamics acquired the project from First Solar in August 2017.

“We are pleased to officially open the California Flats Solar Project, one of the largest solar projects in the United States. First Solar and Hearst have been great partners, and we are proud to be the first to use the First Solar Series 6 solar panels,” said Benoit Allehaut, Managing Director on Capital Dynamics’ Clean Energy Infrastructure team. “This project will play an important part in helping California meet its renewable energy goals while creating jobs and substantial economic benefits throughout the state.” 

The project is powered by First Solar’s high-performance thin-film technology, including Series 6 modules, which deliver a combination of performance, reliability, and eco-efficiency.

“This project confirms that solar energy can successfully co-exist with the natural environment and an active agricultural operation while generating clean, renewable energy and local economic benefits,” said Troy Lauterbach, Senior Vice President of EPC and Energy Services for First Solar. “The California Flats Solar Project is also the first to feature our innovative Series 6 PV module technology, which is setting the standard for affordable and cleaner renewable energy. We are thrilled to partner with Capital Dynamics and Hearst to deliver on a shared commitment to building a sustainable energy future.”

The project will generate clean solar energy equivalent to the needs of about 116,000 average California households per year, displacing more than 109,000 metric tons of carbon dioxide (CO2) annually based on the PG&E grid – the equivalent of taking about 22,000 cars off the road.

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Ayush Verma

Ayush is a staff writer at and writes on renewable energy with a special focus on solar and wind. Prior to this, as an engineering graduate trying to find his niche in the energy journalism segment, he worked as a correspondent for