FERC accepts revised market power analysis for Calif. solar project

The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission on July 8 accepted an application by Imperial Valley Solar 1 LLC for its in-development 200-MW solar project in California.

On June 7, Imperial Valley Solar 1 (IVS-1) submitted a filing to address the compliance directives in a May 31 commission order. In the July 8 order, FERC accepted IVS-1’s alternate horizontal market power analysis and granted IVS-1 authority to make wholesale sales of electric energy, capacity, and ancillary services at market-based rates in the Southwest region, effective March 22, as requested, without further condition.   

On March 21, as amended on April 17, IVS-1 filed an application for market-based rate authority with an accompanying tariff providing for the sale of electric energy, capacity, and ancillary services at market-based rates in the markets administered by the California ISO (CAISO). IVS-1 stated that it will own a 200-MW solar photovoltaic facility located in Imperial County, Calif. IVS-1 said all of the output from the facility will be sold to the San Diego Gas & Electric under a 25-year power purchase agreement.

On May 31, the commission conditionally accepted IVS-1’s market-based rate tariff for filing and suspended the tariff for a nominal period, to become effective March 22, as requested, subject to refund and subject to the outcome of the proceeding. The commission found that IVS-1 satisfied the commission’s requirements for market-based rates regarding vertical market power in the Southwest region. However, in regards to horizontal market power, since IVS-1 relied on a study pending before the commission, the commission stated that it would determine whether IVS-1 passes the indicative screens in the CAISO market upon completion of that pending case.

On June 7, IVS-1 submitted a compliance filing, noting that the conditional acceptance of its tariff and its associated refund obligation have raised significant issues for IVS-1, which would around July 1 commence the production of test power from the facility. Therefore, in order to expedite the removal of the conditional acceptance and refund obligation, IVS-1 proposed an alternative approach to address the commission’s concerns with respect to IVS-1’s initial horizontal market power analysis. Specifically, IVS-1 submitted as its compliance filing a revised horizontal market power analysis that relied on previously-accepted horizontal market power screens submitted by Agua Caliente Solar LLC for the CAISO market.

IVS-1 is a wholly-owned, indirect subsidiary of AES Solar Power LLC. AES Solar is a joint venture between AES Corp. (NYSE: AES) and Riverstone Holdings LLC.

IVS-1 told FERC that its facility will represent the first of four phases of a 600-MW photovoltaic installation.

  • Imperial Valley Solar 2 LLC will own the second phase (150 MW of capacity expected to begin commercial operation by Dec. 31, 2015);
  • Imperial Valley Solar 3 LLC will own the third phase (150 MW of capacity expected to begin commercial operation by March 31, 2016); and
  • Imperial Valley Solar 4 LLC will own the fourth phase (100 MW of capacity expected to begin commercial operation by June 30, 2016).
About Barry Cassell 20414 Articles
Barry Cassell is Chief Analyst for GenerationHub covering coal and emission controls issues, projects and policy. He has covered the coal and power generation industry for more than 24 years, beginning in November 2011 at GenerationHub and prior to that as editor of SNL Energy’s Coal Report. He was formerly with Coal Outlook for 15 years as the publication’s editor and contributing writer, and prior to that he was editor of Coal & Synfuels Technology and associate editor of The Energy Report. He has a bachelor’s degree from Central Michigan University.