A Growing Source of Clean Energy

Constellation owns and operates one of the nation's largest solar power facilities with a total capacity of 242 megawatts (MW).

Constellation’s Antelope Valley Solar Ranch One in Los Angeles County is one of the largest solar photovoltaic projects in the United States. Its 3.8 million solar panels generate 242 MW, enough clean, renewable electricity to power the equivalent of 75,000 average homes. This project displaces approximately 140,000 metric tons of carbon dioxide per year, equivalent to taking approximately 30,000 cars off the road.

Solar photovoltaic cells, or “PV cells,” are the equipment that starts the process of generating solar power. They’re typically placed on rooftops and sometimes on the ground. The sun’s rays strike the PV panels and are absorbed by the semiconductor material. This knocks electrons loose, which begin to flow along wires within the PV cells, and the flow of electrons creates electricity. More solar panels means that more energy can be captured.

Some solar projects serve individual homes or businesses, and some provide power directly to the grid. For example, if the panels are on a home or business rooftop, they power that location. However, the 3.8 million solar panels at our Antelope Valley project feed into the electric grid and serve everyone in the region.

Anyone working with solar energy has to plan very carefully where to put arrays of panels. The sun shines more in some places than others. Flat areas with direct sunlight and few shadows are the best. When it’s cloudy or dark, a PV panel can still produce power, but not as much.