Renewable projects dominate September power additions

Renewable energy projects dominated power generation additions during September, according to a monthly report on infrastructure by staff at the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC).

There was virtually no coal, natural gas or nuclear generation expansions that came online during September, according to the infrastructure update by the FERC Office of Energy Projects. Renewable energy, particularly solar power, had a big month though.

NRG Energy (NYSE: NRG) and MidAmerican Renewables LLC (which is part of MidAmerican Energy Holdings) brought online the 50-MW Phase 5 of the Aqua Caliente Solar Project in Yuma County, Ariz. The Aqua Caliente Project is a 290-MW photovoltaic project, and 250 MW is operational. Phase 6 with 50 MW is under construction with expected online date in 2014. Aqua Caliente is currently the largest photovoltaic facility in the country. The electricity generated is sold under long-term contract to PG&E.

There were also two other solar projects commissioned that involve at least 20 MW.  

  • K Road Ventures has brought online its 25-MW McHenry Solar Farm in Stanislaus County, Calif. The electricity generated is sold under long-term contract to Modesto Irrigation District. In addition, Zongyi Solar America’s 20-MW Tinton Falls Solar in Monmouth County, N.J., is online. Tinton Falls Solar is the largest photovoltaic project in New Jersey.
  • Southern Sky Renewable Energy LLC brought online a solar project with a capacity exceeding 5 MW in Canton County, Mass. Likewise, SunEdison’s 3-MW-plus Phase 2 Lakeland Regional Airport Solar Project expansion in Polk County, Fla., is online.

On the wind front, EDF Group’s 140-MW Phase 1 Pacific Wind in Kern County, Calif., is online. Phase 2 with 110 MW is under construction with an expected online date in June 2013. The electricity generated is sold under long-term contract to San Diego Gas & Electric (SDG&E), which is a Sempra Energy (NYSE: SRE) subsidiary.

Two other wind projects of at least 50 MW came online.

  • KODE Novus I LLC’s 80-MW Phase 1 Novus Wind Farm in Texas County, Okla., is online. Phase 2 with 40 MW is under construction with an expected online date in December 2012. Phases 3 and 4 with a total of 250 MW are in the development stage. The electricity generated is sold under long-term contract to Xcel Energy (NYSE: XEL).
  • Forsyth Street Advisor LLC’s 57-MW Phase 1 Horse Butte Wind Farm in Bonneville County, Idaho, is online. Phase 2 with 41 MW is under construction with an expected online date in December 2012. The electricity generated is sold under long-term contract to Utah Associated Municipal Power.

A couple of wind power projects were also commissioned in Alaska.

  • Fire Island Wind LLC’s 17-MW Phase 1 Fire Island project in Anchorage Borough, Alaska, is online. Phase 2 with 35.2 MW is in development with an expected online date in December 2013. The electricity generated is sold under long-term contract to Chugach Electric Association.
  • Kodiak Electric Association’s 4-MW Phase 2 Pillar Mountain Wind project expansion in Kodiak Island Borough, Alaska, is online. Phase 1 with 4 MW came online in July 2009. Phase 3 with 3 MW is a natural gas-fired unit currently under construction with expected online date in December 2012.
About Wayne Barber 4201 Articles
Wayne Barber, Chief Analyst for the GenerationHub, has been covering power generation, energy and natural resources issues at national publications for more than 20 years. Prior to joining PennWell he was editor of Generation Markets Week at SNL Financial for nine years. He has also worked as a business journalist at both McGraw-Hill and Financial Times Energy. Wayne also worked as a newspaper reporter for several years. During his career has visited nuclear reactors and coal mines as well as coal and natural gas power plants. Wayne can be reached at wayneb@pennwell.com.