Eaton to supply equipment for Redwood Solar project in California

Power management company Eaton announced March 24 multiple contracts to provide solar inverters, electrical distribution equipment and services for the 72.9-MW (dc) Redwood Solar Farm in Kern County, California.

The project, developed by sPower and 8minutenergy Renewables, is expected to generate 146 million kilowatt-hours (kWh) of sustainable electricity annually. The installation will help local utilities meet the California Renewables Portfolio Standard of generating 33% of power from renewable resources by 2020. The terms of this contract were not disclosed.

“This project will demonstrate California’s national leadership in developing clean, renewable power generation to support the energy needs of communities and businesses,” said Kleber Facchini, solar inverter product manager, Eaton. “Through Eaton’s proven solar solutions and the project team’s technical expertise and impressive track record, this installation will provide a national model for the large-scale potential of renewable power generation.”

Located on 345 acres of low productivity farmland, the 72.9-MW (dc) project is the first phase in what could ultimately be a larger solar project. sPower and 8minutenergy expect the Redwood Solar Farm to begin generating clean sustainable power in the period June to August 2015. Once the aggregated solar project is complete, Southern California Edison (SCE), Pacific Gas and Electric (PG&E) and the City of Palo Alto Utilities will receive the power produced through signed Power Purchase Agreements (PPA).

The photovoltaic (PV) projects will tap Eaton solutions and services to help maximize energy harvest, while reducing installation costs and simplifying maintenance. Under the contracts, Eaton will supply its Power Xpert 1670-kilowatt (kW) solar inverters and direct-coupled, Cooper Power series transformers, which are designed to help increase electrical resiliency in large commercial and utility-scale, grid-connect applications. The project will also incorporate a range of additional Eaton power distribution solutions, including: custom AC switchboards for convenient auxiliary power, and group mounted 1000 Vdc Crouse-Hinds series solar disconnects, as well as startup and commissioning services for enhanced system safety and reliability.

Eaton received the contracts from Gehrlicher Solar America Corp., which previously signed an agreement with 8minutenergy to lead engineering, procurement, construction (EPC) and commissioning for the project.

8minutenergy Renewables develops, finances, engineers, constructs, holds, operates and maintains solar projects. To date, 8minutenergy Renewables has been awarded over 1,150 MW in PPAs; secured more than 1,200 MW in General Interconnection Agreements (GIA); obtained Conditional Use Permits (CUP) for more than 12,000 acres; and has 15,000 acres of land under development. 8minutenergy has offices in Los Angeles, Folsom, San Francisco, San Diego and El Centro, California.

Headquartered in Salt Lake City, with offices in San Francisco and New York City, sPower is a leading independent power producer (IPP) that owns and/or operates more than 130 utility and distributed electrical generation systems across the United States. With greater than a gigawatt between construction and pipeline, sPower is active in developing renewable assets in any stage of development in North America and the UK.

Gehrlicher Solar America, part of the M+W Group, builds commercial and utility renewable energy systems for utilities, corporations, and government agencies.

CohnReznick Capital Markets Securities (CRCMS) on Feb. 6 announced that it has worked out an agreement with 8minutenergy Renewables and sPower on this project. CohnReznick offers a comprehensive financial advisory platform for the renewable energy industry, providing solutions for tax equity, equity, debt, asset sales or purchases.

8minutenergy Renewables and SPower had announced on Jan. 28 that construction will begin in the first quarter of this year on three solar facilities in the 72.9 MW (dc) Redwood Solar Farm cluster. They are:

  • 65HK 8me LLC (Hayworth Solar Farm, 33.26 MW dc);
  • 67RK 8me LLC (Redcrest Solar Farm, 20.86 MW dc); and
  • 87RL 8me LLC (Woodmere Solar Farm, 18.75 MW dc).

A fourth project in Kern County, the 133 MW dc (100 MW ac) Springbok Solar Farm, is being developed by 8minutenergy through its wholly-owned subsidiary, 62SK 8me LLC. Springbok has signed a PPA with the Southern California Public Power Authority (SCPPA) on behalf of its participating member, the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power (LADWP).

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.