NextEra affiliates seek FERC approvals on 550 MW of Calif. solar

Two affiliates of NextEra Energy Resources filed separate July 17 applications at the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission related to a total of 550 MW of planned new solar capacity in California.

Desert Sunlight 250 LLC filed for authorization to make market-based sales of energy, capacity and certain ancillary services under a market-based rate tariff. Its project is located in the California Independent System Operator (CAISO) control area.

Desert Sunlight 250 will own and operate a photovoltaic facility with a capability to produce up to 250 MW aggregate nameplate capacity located in Riverside County, Calif. The facility will interconnect into the Red Bluff 230-kV bus, a 500/230-kV substation that is owned by Southern California Edison located near Desert Center, Calif., which loops in the Devers-Colorado River No. 1 500-kV transmission line.

The company said it will submit to the commission a notice of self-certification as an exempt wholesale generator. It said it has entered into a long-term power purchase agreement with an unaffiliated, unnamed party for the output from its facility.

Construction of the Desert Sunlight 250 facility is nearing completion, and test energy will be produced shortly. Therefore, in order to permit Desert Sunlight 250 to produce energy at the earliest possible date, it asked the commission to permit this tariff to become effective on July 18.

Applicant is a wholly-owned direct subsidiary of Desert Sunlight Holdings LLC, which in turn is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Desert Sunlight Investment Holdings LLC. DS Investment is owned by three entities.

  • First, NextEra Desert Sunlight Holdings LLC (NextEra DS) holds a 50% direct ownership interest in DS Investment. NextEra DS is a wholly-owned indirect subsidiary of NextEra Energy Resources, which in turn is a wholly-owned indirect subsidiary of NextEra Energy (NYSE: NEE) out of Florida. NextEra Energy Resources is the merchant power subsidiary of NextEra. NextEra Resources’ subsidiaries currently own or will own generating facilities in CAISO market totaling approximately 1,825 MW.
  • Second, EFS Desert Sun LLC holds a 25% direct ownership interest in DS Investment. EFS Desert Sun is an indirect wholly-owned subsidiary of General Electric Capital, which in turn is a wholly-owned direct subsidiary of General Electric (NYSE: GE). Affiliates of EFS Desert Sun are deemed to control generation facilities in the CAISO market with a combined capacity of about 1,543 MW (summer rating).
  • Third, Summit Solar Desert Sunlight LLC holds a 25% direct ownership interest in DS Investment. Summit Solar is an indirect wholly-owned subsidiary of Sumitomo Corp. out of Japan. With the exception of Desert Sunlight 250 and its sister company, Desert Sunlight 300 LLC, Summit Solar and its affiliates do not own generation in the CAISO market.

A similar July 17 application was filed by Desert Sunlight 300 LLC, which will own and operate a photovoltaic facility with a capability to produce up to 300 MW aggregate nameplate capacity, located in Riverside County. The facility will interconnect into the Red Bluff 230-kV bus, a 500/230-kV substation that is owned by Southern California Edison located near Desert Center, which loops in the Devers-Colorado River No. 1 500-kV transmission line.

This company will also submit to the commission a notice of self-certification as an exempt wholesale generator and has a long-term power purchase agreement with an unaffiliated, unnamed party for the output from its facility. This applicant is also a wholly-owned direct subsidiary of Desert Sunlight Holdings LLC, which gives it the same three ultimate parents as the Desert Sunlight 250 project company.

Construction of the Desert Sunlight 300 facility is also nearing completion, so the company is requesting a waiver of the commission’s rules to permit this tariff to become effective on July 18.

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.