74-MW Rutherford Farm solar project in N.C. to go commercial in December

Rutherford Farm LLC, which is developing a solar project in North Carolina, on Aug. 30 applied with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission for acceptance of its Market-Based Rate Tariff and for authority to sell energy, capacity and ancillary services in wholesale transactions within the Duke Energy Carolinas Balancing Authority Area at market-based rates.

Rutherford is constructing the Rutherford Solar Facility, a 74.8-MW solar photovoltaic facility located in Rutherford County, North Carolina. The Rutherford Farm project is expected to be commercially operational in December 2016. Upon reaching commercial operations, 100% of the net power generation capacity is committed to Duke Energy Carolinas for 15 years under a long-term firm Renewable Power Purchase Agreement (RPPA).

Rutherford Farm is a certified small power production facility under the commission’s rules and regulations.

Rutherford is wholly owned by Southern Turner Renewable Energy LLC (STRE). STRE is owned 90% by Southern Renewable Energy (SRE), which is a wholly owned subsidiary of Southern Power. Southern Power is a wholly owned subsidiary of Southern Co. (NYSE: SO). The other 10% of the ownership of STRE is held, on a passive investment basis, by Turner Renewable Energy LLC.

Southern Renewable Partnerships LLC (SRP) is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Southern Power. SRP affiliates with in-development projects include:

  • RE Garland A LLC, which is constructing a 20-MW photovoltaic facility located in Kern County, California. The project will be interconnected to the transmission system owned by Southern Calfornia Edison in the California ISO BAA. Garland A is expected to achieve commercial operation in October 2016. All of the output from the Garland A Facility is fully committed to Southern California Edison from the commercial operation date (COD) of the Garland A Facility through a 20-year firm PPA ending in 2036.
  • RE Tranquillity LLC, which is constructing a 200-MW photovoltaic facility in Fresno County, California. The RE Tranquillity Facility will be interconnected to the transmission system owned by Pacific Gas and Electric within the CAISO BAA. All of the output of the RE Tranquillity Facility will be sold to Shell Energy North America (US) LP from the COD of the RE Tranquillity Facility (expected in the fourth quarter of 2016) through Nov. 30, 2019. Following that period, the output will be sold on a full-output basis to Southern California Edison pursuant to a 15-year firm PPA ending in 2034.

Southern Power and Turner Renewable Energy had announced on July 8 the acquisition of the companies’ second solar project in North Carolina – the 74-MW Rutherford Farm facility – from Cypress Creek Renewables. “The strategic acquisition of the Rutherford Farm is another step in the development of our solar portfolio,” said Southern Power President and CEO Buzz Miller. “This project aligns with our business model as we continue our growth as a renewable energy leader.”

Cypress Creek Renewables is developing and constructing the Rutherford Farm and will serve as the operations and maintenance contractor. Construction began in February, and the facility is expected to be commercially operational in December. Located on 489 acres in Rutherford County, Rutherford Farm is expected to consist of 289,104 fixed-tilt, monocrystalline solar panels manufactured by Trina Solar.

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.