Mojave Solar amends interconnect deal for 250-MW project

Southern California Edison (SCE) filed with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission on Oct. 23 an amended Large Generator Interconnection Agreement (LGIA) for the 250-MW Mojave Solar Project, a solar thermal facility in San Bernardino County, Calif.

FERC accepted the original LGIA, which was with Abengoa Solar LLC, in early 2011. Then later that year, SoCal Edison agreed to a switch of the developer name from Abengoa Solar to Mojave Solar LLC, which then assumed the LGIA.

The amended LGIA filed with the commission on Oct. 23 covers several changes for the project, including the project developer name, a change in the name of the interconnecting substation from Lockhart to Sandlot, and a change in the names of the generating units (from Alpha and Beta to Alba and Ocaso).

The Mojave Solar Project will connect to the existing Cool Water-Kramer No. 1 220-kV line via the new Sandlot Substation. The Cool Water-Kramer No. 1 220-kV line, together with the Cool Water-Kramer No. 2 220-kV line, are radial to the California ISO-controlled grid and are presently solely used to provide service to the Cool Water Generating Station.

In the amended LGIA, trial operation of the Mojave power project is expected to begin around June 11, 2014. Periodic reports that Mojave Solar has filed with the California Energy Commission show that project construction began in August 2011 and is well along. The Abengoa Solar website shows the project as coming on-line in 2014.

Abengoa Solar noted on the website that it received a federal loan guarantee in the amount of $1.2bn, which facilitated the financial closing with the Federal Financing Bank (FFB) and the start of the plant’s construction. The Mojave Solar Project will use a new parabolic trough technology.

Mojave Solar said in its own Oct. 24 filing with FERC that it needs quick action on the amended LGIA request. “Mojave Solar has been informed by SCE that SCE believes it has no justification to request expedited action by the Commission in the instant matter because the commercial operation of the Mojave Solar Project and the applicable services required to be provided by SCE under the LGIA as amended by the LGIA Amendment are not expected to commence until the third quarter of 2014. However, Mojave Solar faces a different set of circumstances that motivate its request for expedited action herein.”

Mojave Solar said quick action is needed for certainty on the ongoing financing process. “Mojave Solar is actively working with potential investors with the goal of closing financing by year-end 2013 and must present them with a clear and accurate depiction of the scope, progress and costs of the network upgrades and the milestones to be carried out by Mojave Solar and SCE in order to give the investors sufficient comfort the Mojave Solar Project will achieve commercial operation and resource adequacy in a timely manner. Securing investors also requires an accurate memorialization of the costs of the network upgrades. The updating of the ‘other potential facilities’ in addition to providing more certain on cost exposure will allow for the release of significant funds to Mojave Solar that are currently tied up in project security accounts under Mojave Solar’s financing documents. As noted above, Mojave Solar is currently in the process of constructing the Mojave Solar Project and closing a financing with potential investors, and the identification of all pledged and unpledged cash sources and uses needs to be finalized.”

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.