FERC approves buy by ConEd of 50% of Nevada solar project

The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission on July 3 signed off on the sale of part of Copper Mountain Solar 2 LLC, the developer of a 150-MW solar project in Nevada, to Consolidated Edison Development LLC.

On May 22, Copper Mountain Solar 2 applied for commission authorization for the disposition of jurisdictional assets resulting from the purchase by Consolidated Edison Development (ConEd Development) of 50% of the membership interests in Copper Mountain from Copper Mountain Solar 2 Holdings (Copper Holdings). The jurisdictional facilities involved in the proposed transaction are Copper Mountain’s market-based rate tariff and related contracts, books, records, and interconnection equipment associated with the facility.

Copper Mountain Solar 2 said it owns a photovoltaic facility that will be capable of generating up to 150 MW located near Boulder City, Nev. This project is interconnected to the California Independent System Operator (CAISO)-controlled grid and CAISO is the relevant market. Copper Mountain Solar 2 has market-based rate authority and is an exempt wholesale generator. Copper Mountain Solar 2 is committed to sell all the output of this project under a long-term power purchase agreement to Pacific Gas & Electric (PG&E).

Copper Mountain Solar 2 is 100% owned by Copper Holdings, an indirect wholly-owned subsidiary of Sempra Global. Sempra Global is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Sempra Energy, a public utility holding company based in San Diego, Calif.

ConEd Development is an indirect, wholly-owned subsidiary of Consolidated Edison Inc. ConEd Development has four affiliates in the relevant geographic market, which is CAISO. They are:

  • Alpaugh North LLC owns and operates a 20-MW solar PV facility;
  • Alpaugh 50 LLC owns and operates a 50-MW solar PV facility;
  • White River LLC owns and operates a 20-MW solar PV facility; and
  • CED Corcoran Solar LLC is constructing and will own and operate a 20-MW facility.

Alpaugh North, Alpaugh 50, White River and Corcoran all have long-term power purchase agreements with PG&E under which PG&E will purchase all of the output from their respective facilities.

ConEd Development will acquire 50% of the membership interests of Copper Holdings and will immediately transfer and assign those membership interests to a to-be-formed wholly-owned subsidiary of ConEd Development. At that point, Copper Mountain Solar 2 will be jointly owned in equal shares by subsidiaries of Sempra Energy and ConEd Development.

In March, Nevada Gov. Brian Sandoval and Boulder City Mayor Roger Tobler joined Sempra U.S. Gas & Power officials and community leaders to dedicate the state’s newest solar energy project, the 92-MW first phase of the Copper Mountain Solar 2 facility in Boulder City. Copper Mountain Solar 2 is one of the North America’s largest PVsolar plants. When its second phase is completed in 2015, the project’s total operating capacity will be 150 MW.

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.