NextEra works out new interconnect for downsized (to 485 MW) California solar project

Southern California Edison on June 29 filed with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission a First Amended Large Generator Interconnection Agreement with NextEra Blythe Solar Energy Center LLC and the California Independent System Operator for a revamped and renamed solar project.

In November 2010, Palo Verde Solar II LLC, CAISO and SCE entered into the Original LGIA for the Blythe Solar Power Project. In July 2012, NextEra Blythe Solar Energy Center LLC purchased the Blythe Solar Power Project from Palo Verde Solar II.

In January 2013, NextEra submitted a request to the CAISO to downsize the megawatt capacity of the Blythe Solar Power Project from 1,000 MW to 485 MW. The CAISO and SCE performed the generator downsizing study. The study results identified that the generating facility, at a reduced capacity of 485 MW, could be accommodated via a single generation tie-line position at Colorado River Substation (in lieu of the two generation tie-line positions originally identified to accommodate the 1,000 MW facility). NextEra said the generating facility name is changed from the Blythe Solar Power Project to the Dracker Project.

The Amended LGIA filed June 29 reflects, among other things: NextEra’s request to reduce the project’s capacity from 1,000 MW to 458 MW and change the technology from solar thermal to solar photovoltaic; revisions to the needed grid upgrades as a result of the capacity reduction and final engineering; a change in project name from Blythe Solar Power Project to Dracker Project; and updated milestones to reflect the current status of the power project and related grid upgrades.

The new agreement has staggered commercial operation target dates:

  • Initial Electric Generating Unit for the First Sequence: May 30, 2016
  • Second Electric Generating Unit for the First Sequence: November 1, 2016
  • Third Electric Generating Unit for the Second Sequence: June 1, 2020
  • Fourth Electric Generating Unit for the Second Sequence: December 1, 2020

Project contacts are: NextEra Blythe Solar Energy Center LLC, Matthew Schafer, Vice President, Business Management, Matthew.Schafer@nexteraenergy.com, and Scott A. Busa, Executive Director, Business Development, Scott.Busa@nexteraenergy.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.