Santa Clara (c-eniconˌsæntəˈklærə), founded in 1777 and incorporated in 1852, is a city in Santa Clara County, in the U.S. state of California. The city is the site of the eighth of 21 California missions, Mission Santa Clara de Asís, and was named after the mission. The Mission and Mission Gardens are located on the grounds of Santa Clara University. Saint Clare is the patron saint of Santa Clara. The population was 116,468 at the 2010 census.
Santa Clara is located in the center of Silicon Valley, and is home to the headquarters of Intel, Applied Materials, Sun Microsystems, NVIDIA, Agilent Technologies, and many other high-tech companies. It is home to both Mission College and Santa Clara University, the latter being the oldest institution of higher learning in the state of California.
Santa Clara is also home to California's Great America, an amusement park operated by Cedar Fair, L.P. The San Francisco 49ers NFL football team has its headquarters and practice facilities in Santa Clara. On Wednesday, November 8, 2006, the 49ers announced their intention to move the team to Santa Clara, after negotiations failed with the city of San Francisco to build a new stadium.
Santa Clara owns and operates an electric utility called Silicon Valley Power. In 2005 Silicon Valley Power brought online the Donald Von Raesfeld (DVR) Power Plant. The new combined-cycle gas turbine plant produces 147 megawatts of electricity for the city and its residents. As a result, the going rate for electricity in Santa Clara is considerably cheaper than that offered by Northern California's dominant utility, Pacific Gas and Electric.