California ISO approves 8minutenergy Renewables solar interconnection

Independent solar PV developer 8minutenergy Renewables has an interconnection agreement with California’s grid operator for a 200-MW project in the Imperial Valley.

The generation interconnection agreement (GIA) with the California Independent Systems Operator Corporation (ISO) and San Diego Gas & Electric (SDG&E), a unit of Sempra Energy (NYSE:SRE), is for its solar project in Imperial Valley, Calif. The GIA confirms that 8minutenergy’s solar project has completed ISO’s Phase I and Phase II interconnection study processes as well as posted the required letters of credits.

8minutenergy will upgrade SDG&E’s power network. The project is located on 1,422 acres of private, disturbed, low-value farm land. It is scheduled to start construction in early 2014 and begin delivering power to SDG&E in December 2014. The project will create nearly 450 direct jobs and over 500 indirect jobs in Imperial County, Calif. during construction.

The company says its annual production capacity of approximately 500m kWh of electricity will produce enough renewable solar energy to serve 72,000 households in SDG&E’s service territory.

“Solar projects of this nature will provide Californians with clean, renewable energy,” said California ISO President and CEO Steve Berberich. “By signing this agreement, we are another step closer to helping California achieve important green energy goals.”

“This agreement is critical for 8minutenergy, ISO and SDG&E to continue to develop clean, reliable, renewable energy for the people of California,” said Martin Hermann, chief executive officer of 8minutenergy Renewables. “Coming on the heels of the approval of our 600 MW solar project – the largest in the world, currently – this GIA furthers our comprehensive approach to select the most favorable regions for the transmission and interconnection of renewable energy projects.”

The previous approvals were for the Mount Signal Solar and Calexico Solar Farms I & II, each with a capacity of 200 MW.

The recently approved project is part of the company’s portfolio of over 2,000 MW of utility-scale solar PV power under development in California. The solar project will connect with SDG&E’s Imperial Valley substation, and its renewable solar energy will be transmitted over the utility’s Sunrise Powerlink transmission line, completed in 2012.