SunPower’s 54-MW Stanford project due for commercial ops in November 2016

Solar Star California XLI LLC on July 25 requested that the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission accept its proposed baseline market-based rate tariff and authorize it to sell electric energy, capacity, and certain ancillary services at market-based rates.

Applicant was formed for the purpose of developing, constructing, owning, and operating the Stanford Solar Generating Station, an approximately 54 MW (nameplate) photovoltaic facility to be located in Kern County, California. Applicant has self-certified its status as an EWG.

The project is currently expected to begin generating test power in September 2016 and to commence commercial operation in November 2016. The project will include interconnecting transmission facilities necessary to connect the solar facility to the Southern California Edison (SCE) transmission system operated by the California ISO.

Applicant will sell all of the net output of the project at wholesale to the Board of Trustees of the Leland Stanford Junior University under a 25-year power purchase agreement (PPA) that expires in 2041.

Applicant is an indirect, wholly-owned subsidiary of SunPower, a Delaware corporation whose shares are publicly traded on the NASDAQ. SunPower is headquartered in San Jose, California, and has offices in North America, Europe, Australia, Africa, and Asia.

Pursuant to a Shared Facilities Agreement on file with the commission, applicant will share with four affiliates – Golden Fields Solar I LLC, Golden Fields Solar II LLC, Golden Fields Solar III LLC and Golden Fields Solar IV LLC –  certain common premises and facilities, including approximately three miles of above-ground, 220-kV transmission line necessary to interconnect these generating facilities to the SCE transmission system. These Co-Tenants are developing and will construct, own, and operate four photovoltaic facilities, comprising approximately 245 MW (net) in the aggregate, and related interconnection facilities to be located in Kern County, California. Other than GFS I, the Co-Tenants have not yet self-certified their status as EWGs, but plan to do so later in their development process. Co-Tenants also do not yet have market-based rate authorization from the commission. GFS I is applying for market-based rate authorization contemporaneously with this filing.

Affiliates in the CAISO market include:

  • GFS I, an EWG that will own and operate a 54 MW (nameplate) photovoltaic facility in Kern County, California. The GFS I Project is currently expected to begin trial operation and testing in September 2016 and to achieve commercial operation in December 2016. GFS I will sell all of the net output of the GFS I Project to the Turlock Irrigation District under a 20-year PPA that expires in 2036.
  • Java Solar LLC, which is developing and will own and operate an approximately 14 MW (nameplate) photovoltaic facility in Kings County, California. The Java Solar Project will be interconnected to the Pacific Gas & Electric (PG&E) transmission system within the CAISO BAA, and is currently expected to begin trial operation and testing in June 2017 and to achieve commercial operation in August 2017. Java will sell all of the net output of the Java Solar Project to PG&E under a 20-year PPA that expires in 2037.
  • Kingbird Solar A LLC, an EWG with market-based rate authorization that owns and operates an approximately 20 MW photovoltaic facility in Kern County, California. The Kingbird A Project is interconnected to the SCE transmission system within the CAISO BAA, and began commercial operation on April 30, 2016. All of the Kingbird A Project’s output is contractually committed to the City of Pasadena, California, for a period of 20 years under a PPA with an initial term set to end in 2036, which Pasadena can extend for an additional five years at its option.
  • Kingbird Solar B LLC, an EWG with market-based rate authorization that owns and operates an approximately 20 MW photovoltaic facility in Kern County, California. The Kingbird B Project is interconnected to the SCE transmission system within the CAISO BAA, and began commercial operation on April 30, 2016. All of the Kingbird B Project’s output is contractually committed to the Southern California Public Power Authority (SCPPA) for a period of 20 years under a PPA with an initial term set to end in 2036, which SCPPA can extend for an additional five years at its option.

In addition, Applicant’s affiliate Boulder Solar, an EWG with a pending application for market-based rate authorization, is developing the Boulder Solar I Project (a/k/a Boulder Solar I Nevada), an approximately 100 MW (nameplate) photovoltaic facility to be located in Boulder City, Clark County, Nevada. The Boulder Solar I Project, which is currently expected to begin generating test power in August 2016 and to commence commercial operation in November 2016, will include interconnecting transmission facilities necessary to connect it to the NV Energy transmission system. All of the net output of the Boulder Solar I Project will be sold under a 20-year PPA with NV Energy that expires in 2037.

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.