Solar panels going up this week at AEC

Hard-hatted Sunstall construction crews busily work on rows and rows of rigging that will support the 8,000 new solar panels being installed along Highway 371 outside of the Anza Electric Cooperative headquarters. The Sun Anza Power project is being constructed by Cenergy Power company. Tony Ault photo
Hard-hatted Sunstall construction crews busily work on rows and rows of rigging that will support the 8,000 new solar panels being installed along Highway 371 outside of the Anza Electric Cooperative headquarters. The Sun Anza Power project is being constructed by Cenergy Power company. Tony Ault photo

The banging of a portable pile driver, the metallic sound of aluminum and power lift gasoline engines signaled the startup of placing the stanchions or rigging in the ground to support 8,000 new solar panels going up at the Anza Electric Cooperative this week.

“Once the rigging goes in,” said hard-hatted SUN Sunstall supervisor Carlos Gomez, “we will start installing 1,000 solar panels a week.”

Gomez and the Sunstall crews, subcontracted by Cenergy Power who is the prime contractor for AEC Sun Anza, will soon complete the first phase of the project. The first phase is expected to add 2 of 4 megawatts of power to the growing AEC customer base.

“This is only half of the project, “said Gomez looking over the rows and rows of solar panel rigging being put into the ground. “The other half will go in later.” The entire 20 acres where the panels will be located is secured by a covered chain link fence that can be seen from Highway 371 north of the Anza Village center.

The new solar generation system is expected to bring AEC’s 4,000 plus customers in the Anza, Aguanga, Garner Valley, Mountain Center and part of Sage, cheaper, more reliable, environmentally safe power in the next few years. It is designed to satisfy the electrical needs for new homes, farms. ranches and businesses coming into the area as well.

AEC officials reported at buildout the Sun Anza Power project will supply approximate 14 percent of the cooperative’s power.

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