California PUC mulls 247-MW solar contract for Southern California Edison

Southern California Edison (SCE) is requesting approval from the California Public Utilities Commission for a renewable portfolio standard (RPS) eligible power purchase agreement with Panoche Valley Solar LLC.

A resolution to approve that request is on the commission’s March 12 meeting agenda. In October 2014, the utility applied for approval of a 20-year renewable energy power purchase agreement (PPA) with Panoche. The PPA was executed through SCE’s 2013 RPS solicitation. The Panoche facility is to be located in San Benito County and have a capacity of about 247 MW.

The commercial operation target date for this photovoltaic project is Jan. 1, 2019. The project is being developed by PV2 Energy LLC. The expected annual generation to be purchased from the project is 666 Gigawatt-hours (GWh). This generation could count towards SCE’s RPS requirements in Compliance Period 2017-2020.

SCE retained Merrimack Energy Group as the independent evaluator (IE) to oversee its 2013 RPS solicitation. In addition, Merrimack oversaw the negotiations with Panoche and evaluated the overall merits of the Panoche PPA. “In the IE’s opinion, the Panoche PPA was reasonably negotiated with contract terms that when taken as a whole appropriately protect the interests of SCE’s ratepayers,” said the resolution from commission staff. “The IE also concludes that the project is very mature in terms of project development. Overall, the IE states that he agrees with SCE that the Panoche PPA merits Commission approval.”

The Panoche facility will interconnect at the Q829 230-kV switching station which connects to Pacific Gas and Electric’s Moss-Panoche/Coburn-Panoche 230 kV transmission line and intersects the project site. The developer has executed a Large Generator Interconnection Agreement (LGIA) for the project.

The Panoche Valley Solar website is: http://panochevalleysolar.com.

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.