Fluor wins solar contracts for 170 MW

Fluor Corp. (NYSE: FLR) has won a contract for a 170-MW solar project in California’s Imperial Valley.

Centinela Solar Energy, LLC, a member of LS Power Group, has awarded Fluor a lump-sum engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) contract, as well as a separate contract for ongoing operations and maintenance services for its new solar photovoltaic (PV) facility located in Southern California.

Fluor has been awarded both the 125-MW Phase 1 and the 45-MW Phase 2 of the Centinela project and received full notice-to-proceed for Phase 1 which was booked into backlog in the third quarter of 2012.  Phase 2 is expected to be released in the first quarter of 2013.  

The contract announcement fits into Fluor’s strategy to become a dominant player in the large, utility scale PV arena.

“We have been working on significant utility ground-mounted systems for some time,” Brad Friesen, Fluor’s vice president for the gas fueled and renewables power line, told GenerationHub at the recent Solar Power International, in anticipation of the Centenela announcement. “We will do 20-MW projects, but ideally we are looking at the 50-MW or larger market.”

He cited the company’s expertise in larger scaled projects. Fluor also won a similar start-to-finish-and-beyond contract from Arlington Valley Solar Energy II to construct a 125-MW PV facility in Maricopa County, Ariz.

The Centinela project is located on approximately 1,600 acres in Imperial County, Calif., approximately 90 miles east of San Diego, and has all major permits secured for the project.

This project will help meet the regional need for renewable energy and will be one of the first major projects to tie into the newly constructed Sunrise Powerlink Transmission Line.  Centinela Solar Energy has closed financing for the project and has 20-year power purchase agreements with Sempra energy (NYSE: SRE) unit San Diego Gas & Electric for the entire power output from the facility, enough electricity to power more than 60,000 homes.

The facility is expected to achieve full commercial operation by approximately the middle of 2014. LS Power is a power generation and transmission group and has been involved in the development, construction, or operations of over 25,000 MW of power generation throughout the United States.