The California Valley Solar Ranch (CVSR) is a proposed 250 megawatt (MW) solar photovoltaic power plant, to be built by SunPower in the Carrizo Plain, northeast of California Valley. Commenting on this project and a nearby 550 MW project announced at the same time, Daniel Kammen, the director of the Renewable and Appropriate Energy Laboratory at University of California, Berkeley, said "This scale is ten times larger than what was being talked about awhile ago".

On August 14, 2008, Pacific Gas and Electric announced an agreement to buy all the power from the power plant. A Conditional Use Permit application for the project was filed with the County of San Luis Obispo Planning and Building Department on January 14, 2009. On November 30, 2010, NRG Energy announced that it would buy CVSR from SunPower for "up to $450 million". SunPower is seeking a loan guarantee from the federal government to cover the remainder of the $1 billion construction cost.

The California Valley Solar Ranch project proposes to utilize 1,966 acres (796 ha) of a 4,365-acre (1,766 ha) site of former grazing land for solar power generation, the project would utilize high-efficiency, crystalline PV panels designed and manufactured by SunPower, formerly a subsidiary of Cypress Semiconductor. The project will include up to 88,000 solar tracking devices to hold PV panels that will track the sun across the sky. The project would deliver approximately 550 gigawatt-hours (GW·h) annually of renewable energy and will have a capacity of 250 MW. While the plant would only have a capacity factor of 25%, its power would be generated during the middle of the day, when demand for electricity — and price — is much higher than at night.

The Carrizo Plain is home to 13 species listed as endangered either by the state or federal government, including the San Joaquin Kit Fox, Giant Kangaroo Rat, and the California Condor. SunPower has been working with the community to protect local wildlife habitat and migration patterns, and reduce the amount of traffic in the area during construction. The company recently announced a plan to create a reserve for Giant Kangaroo Rat in order to address concerns about habitat destruction.

If approved, the California Valley Solar Ranch project is expected to begin power delivery in 2011, and be fully operational by 2013. California utilities are mandated to get 20% of their energy from renewable sources by 2010.