Huge solar farm opens in California: Enough energy for 160,000 homes

About 4,000 acres of shiny black solar panels stretch across Riverside County near Joshua Tree National Park, where on Monday U.S. Interior Secretary Sally Jewell dedicated one of the largest photovoltaic solar energy farms in the world.

“This is the beginning of a renewable energy future,” Jewell said before helping turn on a large model light switch.

Desert Sunlight opens at time of uncertainty for future utility-scale solar development in California, which has been slowing in recent years as federal assistance begins to disappear and investor interest fades.

But executives involved in Desert Sunlight — a joint venture of NextEra Energy Resources, GE Energy Financial Services and Sumitomo Corporation of America — were optimistic Monday.

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