Wildflower solar

Renewable energy for one of the largest publicly owned utility companies in the US

About the Wildflower Solar project

In November 2018, Lightsource bp signed a Power Purchase Agreement (PPA) with the Sacramento Municipal Utilities Division (SMUD), one of the largest publicly owned utility companies in the United States. Under the agreement, Lightsource bp has financed, built, and is now operating a 16.5 megawatt solar farm within SMUD’s service territory in Sacramento County, California. SMUD will purchase all the electricity under the 25-year PPA. The project went online at the end of 2020.

The solar farm, called Wildflower Solar, supports SMUD’s renewable energy and carbon reduction goals. It will generate enough affordable, clean energy to cover the equivalent annual electricity needs of 2,624 homes in northern California. The project also supports SMUD’s Neighborhood SolarShares community solar program, meeting growing consumer demand for clean energy and locally sited solar power.



/13MWᴀᴄ capacity


metric tons of CO2 saved per year


fuel-burning cars taken off road (equivalent)


homes powered per year


local jobs created during construction

Current status

Site selection & preliminary design

Stakeholder outreach

Permitting & environmental studies

Land management & biodiversity planning

Final engineering, financing & construction

Operation & maintenance

Decommissioning & recycling

Social & environmental benefits for California

The project is bringing numerous social and environmental benefits to California, in addition to improving air quality by reducing carbon dioxide emissions from electricity generation.

  • We introduced solar sheep grazing to the project in 2024. A local California sheep grazer feeds his flock on the project land, while helping maintain vegetation through natural means. This helps bring new revenue into his business through paid grazing contracts, in addition to the meat and wool he produces.
  • We designed a high-density pollinator garden for Wildflower Solar in collaboration with ecology experts to restore and conserve pollinator habitat.
  • Native vegetation, including several types of grasses and California wildflowers grow under and around the solar panels.
  • The project supports SMUD’s Neighborhood SolarShares community solar program, helping bring home-grown solar to low income households in the community.


Responsible Solar Stories

Find out more about our Responsible Solar approach in action.

“The opportunity of a lifetime”

How solar grazing is helping save the California sheep industry

Read story

A day in the life of a solar farm

Meet the people operating our Impact solar farm in Texas

Read Story

Wildflower Solar Photo Gallery

Information and resources

We’ve put together a collection of resources for anyone who’d like to know more about utility-scale solar energy.

Get in Touch

If you’d like to find out more about this project, email We aim to get back to you within five working days.

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