More than 500 MW of solar come online during October

Figures released by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) on Nov. 20 indicate that 12 solar units with a combined capacity of 504 MW came online during October.

Total new generating capacity deployed during October amounted to only 699 MW, so solar dominated the new build landscape, according to the monthly Energy Infrastructure Update from FERC’s Office of Energy Projects.

“This is truly astonishing, not to mention historic, and should serve as a reminder to everyone in Washington and in state capitals that smart public policies – such as the solar Investment Tax Credit (ITC), Net Energy Metering (NEM) and Renewable Portfolio Standards (RPS) – are paying huge dividends for America,” said Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA) President and CEO Rhone Resch.

Resch made the comments in a Nov. 21 blog post for Renewable Energy World, a PennWell news service.

The figures indicate that new generation installation during the first 10 months of 2013 still lags well behind the pace set in 2013. There have been 12,327 MW of new capacity installed by the end of October of this year. By comparison there were 17,008 MW installed during the first 10 months of 2012.

The difference can largely be attributed to a major falloff in wind power siting during the first 10 months of the year. Projections show that new wind power siting should rebound going forward. The new production tax credit (PTC) requires only that new wind projects enter “construction” in 2013 and be online in 2015.

Slew of new solar power projects detailed

Here’s a rundown of key solar deployments during October.

Abengoa SA’s 280 MW Solana project in Maricopa County, Ariz., is on line. The Solana station combines concentrated solar power (CSP) technology with a thermal storage system to deliver renewable power up to six hours after the sun goes down. The power generated is sold to Arizona Public Service, a Pinnacle West Capital (NYSE:PNW) under long-term contract.

Southern (NYSE:SO) brought its 139 MW Campo Verde Solar project in Imperial County, Calif., is online. The power generated is delivered via Sunrise Powerlink and sold to Sempra (NYSE:SRE) unit San Diego Gas & Electric under long-term contract.

NRG Energy (NYSE:NRG)’s 36 MW California Valley Solar Ranch Phase 4 project in San Luis Obispo County, CA is online. With this latest phase completed, California Valley Solar Ranch has a total capacity of 249 MW. The power generated is sold to PG&E under long-term contract.

• Southern’s 30 MW Spectrum Solar project in Clark County, NV is online. The power generated is sold to NV Energy under long-term contract.

ET Energy Solutions LLC’s 10 MW Indianapolis International Airport Solar Farm Phase 1 project in Marion County, IN is online. The power generated is sold to Indianapolis Power & Light (IPL) under long-term contract.

 • WGL Holdings 3.8 MW Bellingham Solar project in Worcester County, MA is online. The power generated is sold to the City of Bellingham under long-term contract.

Constellation Solar New York LLC’s 2 MW Owens Corning Delmar Solar project in Albany County, NY is online. The power generated is used on site and sold to Owens Corning under long-term contract.

St. Albans Solar Partner’s 2 MW St. Albans Solar Farm project in Franklin County, VT is online. The power generated is sold to Vermont Electric Power Producers under long-term contract.

Fossil, wind, biomass units also commissioned

There was a diverse mix of other power generation commissioned during October.

Lincoln Electric System’s 4.8 MW Terry Bundy Generating Station Phase 5 expansion project in Lancaster County, NE is online. Phase 5 consists of three 1.8 MW units fired by distillate fuel oil and natural gas.

Westvaco Corp.’s 82 MW Covington Mill expansion project in Alleghany County, VA is online. The project is fueled by wood waste solids and waste water from the paper mill. The power generated is used on site.

Rhode Island LFG Genco LLC’s 37 MW Broadrock Biopower I project in Providence, RI is online. This project, fueled by landfill gas from the Johnston Landfill, is the second largest LFG-to-energy project in the U.S.

Riverstone Holding LLC’s 43 MW Ocotillo Express Wind Phase II project in Imperial County, CA is online. Phase I, with 223 MW, came online in December 2012. The power generated is sold to San Diego Gas & Electric Co. under long-term contract.

Alliance Power’s 23 MW Colorado Highland Winds Phase II project in Logan County, CO is online. Phase I, with 67 MW came online in December 2012. The power generated is sold to Tri State Generation & Transmission Association under long-term contract.

Envirepel Energy’s 2.8 MW biomass fueled Kittyhawk Energy Phase I project in Talladega County, AL is online.

About Wayne Barber 4201 Articles
Wayne Barber, Chief Analyst for the GenerationHub, has been covering power generation, energy and natural resources issues at national publications for more than 20 years. Prior to joining PennWell he was editor of Generation Markets Week at SNL Financial for nine years. He has also worked as a business journalist at both McGraw-Hill and Financial Times Energy. Wayne also worked as a newspaper reporter for several years. During his career has visited nuclear reactors and coal mines as well as coal and natural gas power plants. Wayne can be reached at wayneb@pennwell.com.