FERC okays Southern taking stake in 100-MW Boulder Solar I project

The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission on Sept. 1 approved a July 27 application from Boulder Solar Power LLC for authorization for a transaction whereby Southern Renewable Partnerships LLC, a subsidiary of Southern Power, will acquire from SunPower Corp. 51% of certain indirect equity interests, representing 100% of the Class A Membership Interests, in Boulder Solar Power.

Boulder Solar Power was formed for the purpose of developing, constructing, owning and operating an approximately 100-MW photovoltaic facility to be located in Clark County, Nevada. Applicant is an exempt wholesale generator (EWG) and has applied to the commission for market-based rate authority.

The project will include interconnecting transmission facilities necessary to connect the generating facility to the NV Energy transmission system. All of the net output of the project will be sold under a 20-year PPA with NV Energy that expires in 2037.

Pursuant to a shared facilities deal, applicant will share with Boulder Solar II LLC and Boulder Solar III LLC certain common premises and facilities, including 2.3 miles of 230-kV transmission line necessary to interconnect these three generating facilities to the grid.

Southern Renewable Partnerships was formed for the purpose of acquiring and holding membership interests in EWGs and qualifying facilities (QFs). Southern Renewable Partnerships is a wholly owned subsidiary of Southern Power, which in turn is a wholly owned subsidiary of Southern Co. (NYSE: SO).

Under this now-approved transaction, SunPower will form a wholly owned holding company (HoldCo) to own 100% of Boulder Solar Power. Southern Renewable Partnerships will then acquire all of the Class A membership interests in HoldCo. Concurrently, 100% of the Class B Membership Interests in HoldCo will be retained by SunPower. Southern Renewable Partnerships, as the holder of the Class A Membership Interests in HoldCo, will have control over the management and administration of the business of HoldCo. SunPower, as indirect holder of the Class B Membership Interests, will be holding non-controlling economic interests in HoldCo that will convey no direct or indirect operational control over Boulder Solar Power. The holder of the Class B Membership Interests will have only those voting and consent rights necessary to protect its economic investment interests in HoldCo.

Notable is that on Aug. 12, FERC accepted a June 3 application from Boulder Solar Power for acceptance of its baseline market-based rate tariff and to authorize the company 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 Boulder Solar I Project (a/k/a Boulder Solar I Nevada), an approximately 100 MW (nameplate) photovoltaic facility located in Boulder City, Clark County, Nevada, and to engage in businesses activities consistent with exempt wholesale generator (EWG) status.

The June 3 application said the project was expected to begin generating test power in August 2016 and to commence commercial operation in November 2016.

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.