Up for approval by the California Public Utilities Commission at its March 12 meeting is a single resolution covering three solar power purchase agreements (PPAs) worked out by Southern California Edison (SCE).
The utility is requesting commission approval of three PPAs with Silver Ridge Power, 8minutenergy Renewables LLC and Copper Mountain Solar 4 LLC. This resolution approves cost recovery for the long-term agreements between SCE and: Silver Ridge Power and 8minutenergy Renewables for the Mount Signal Solar Farm II and Mount Signal Solar Farm V projects; and Copper Mountain Solar 4 for the Copper Mountain project.
All three photovoltaic projects resulted from SCE’s 2013 RPS solicitation and all three PPAs were executed in July 2014. The Mount Signal II and V Projects are located in southern Imperial County, approximately two miles west of the City of Calexico, California, and will have a capacity of about 154 MW and 252 MW respectively. Copper Mountain is located in Boulder City, Nevada, and will have a capacity of 94 MW.
Mount Signal II has a targeted commercial operation date of June 1, 2020. Mount Signal V’s commercial operations target is Feb. 1, 2019. Copper Mountain is Jan. 1, 2020. The generation from all three projects 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 the project developers and evaluated the overall merits of the three PPAs. The IE states in its report that all three PPAs were reasonably negotiated with contract terms that taken as a whole appropriately protect the interests of SCE’s ratepayers. The IE also concludes that the projects are very mature in terms of project development. Overall, the IE states that it agrees with SCE that all three PPAs merit commission approval.
The Mount Signal II and V facilities are developed by Silver Ridge Power and 8minutenergy. Silver Ridge Power is experienced in developing, financing, constructing, and operating large scale PV projects. 8minutenergy is an experienced developer in California focusing on land acquisition and interconnection for solar projects. The joint team recently completed development of the 200-MW Mount Signal Solar Farm I project that began generating in May 2014. The Copper Mountain facility is being developed by Sempra U.S. Gas & Power, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Sempra Energy. Sempra U.S. Gas & Power has successfully developed a number of power plants throughout the United States.
The Mount Signal II and V solar facilities will interconnect at San Diego Gas and Electric’s (SDG&E) Imperial Valley substation. The Copper Mountain facility will interconnect at the Merchant Substation, which is jointly owned by SDG&E and NV Energy.