ECG plans 300-MW Utah solar project next to doomed coal plant

Energy Capital Group LLC (ECG) is developing ECG Utah Solar 1, a 300-MW solar plant to be located adjacent to the coal-fired Intermountain Power Plant (IPP) in Utah.

The company said Sept. 17 that this will be one of the largest solar projects built and will cost an estimated $600m. ECG is leasing 1,754 acres from the state of Utah’s School and Institutional Trust Lands Administration (SITLA). The location is ideal as the infrastructure includes a HVDC transmission line going directly to California, the company noted.

The project will create about 200 construction jobs, power an estimated 80,000 homes, generate substantial tax revenue for localand state government, will benefit Utah’s K-12 grade school children through lease payments to SITLA and provide clean affordable energy.

The project has conducted the required biological study, cultural survey, entered the interconnection queue, is working with Millard County on the conditional use permit and is in the Utah Alternative Energy Development Incentive (AEDI) application process.

Supporting the engineering of the project is Victor Rojas and Power-Tech Engineers Inc. (PTEI). Rojas is a seasoned electrical engineer, former Los Angeles Department of Water and Power (LADWP) engineer, who participated as lead test and start-up engineer in the commissioning of IPP, and later in the Operation and Maintenance management of the IPP generation and AC/DC transmission system.

Notable is that LADWP and other IPP participants are currently working on plans to shut the 1,800-MW coal plant early next decade, due to California greenhouse gas reduction mandates, and to build a 1,200-MW gas-fired power plant at the site that would take advantage of the existing power line into California.

Josh Case, CEO of ECG said: “We are excited about the opportunity to develop ECG Utah Solar 1 in Utah which will benefit several groups including the Utah school children, Millard County’s economy, Utah’s economy and the California utilities in their achieving the state RPS. The ECG team has made great strides to date and we are reaching more project milestones at a rapid pace.”

Rojas, President of PTEI, said: “ECG Utah Solar 1 will help California utilities achieve the state Renewable Portfolio Standard (RPS) of 33% by 2020 as the IPP substation is part of LADWP transmission system and LADWP is a California Balancing Authority. This project will qualify as SBX Bucket 1 which 75% of renewables are required to come from to meet the RPS and is a great fit for both California and Utah.”

Jeffrey Barrett, Infrastructure & Incentive Manager in the Utah Office of Energy Development said: “The Office of Energy Development has been excited, in recent months, to see the uptick in interest in developing Utah’s world-class solar resources. We are pleased to hear that Energy Capital Group has hit a critical milestone in the development of their ambitious Millard County solar project, which we expect will add enormous economic value to rural Utah.”

ECG has its corporate headquarters in Provo, Utah, with offices in Washington DC, California, Virginia and Idaho. It is a renewable energy company developing utility scale and distributed projects.

PTEI was established in 1992 by a group of former electrical utility engineers with expertise in planning, permitting, financing, design, construction, commissioning, operation and maintenance of electrical facilities and systems. Utility clients include LADWP, Burbank Water and Power, Southern California Edison, Imperial Irrigation District, City of Glendale Water & Power, City of Banning and City of Riverside.

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.