Moapa Southern Paiute Solar readies for start-up of 250-MW project in Nevada

Moapa Southern Paiute Solar LLC filed with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission on Oct. 21 an initial market-based rate tariff and requested that the commission grant it authority to make wholesale sales of electric energy, capacity and ancillary services at negotiated, market-based rates.

Moapa owns and will operate an approximately 250-MW (ac) solar photovoltaic plant located in Clark County, Nevada, which is currently under construction and is expected to be synchronized with the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power (LADWP) system and commence delivery of test energy in the fourth quarter of 2016.

The facility will sell all of its electrical output to LADWP under a 25-year wholesale power purchase agreement. The company noted that all of the electric generating capacity owned or controlled by Moapa and its affiliates in the LADWP and adjacent California Independent System Operator (CAISO) markets is fully committed under long-term power sales contracts. Thus, Moapa and its affiliates lack generation market power in the relevant markets.

Moapa’s indirect parent company, First Solar Inc., has caused Moapa to issue non-managing membership interests to tax equity investors in a transaction that closed on Oct. 21. EFS Renewables Holdings LLC has acquired 50% of the Class A non-managing membership interests in Moapa, and an affiliate of The Goldman Sachs Group Inc. has acquired the other 50% of the Class A non-managing membership interests.

Moapa will deliver energy from the facility substation via a 0.45-mile-long, 500-kV transmission line to the point of interconnection with the transmission network. At the POI, the project facilities will interconnect with a 4.76 mile-long, radially-fed, 500-kV transmission line, which in turn will interconnect with the LADWP transmission system at the Crystal Substation. The Crystal Substation is operated by Nevada Power d/b/a NV Energy and jointly owned by LADWP, Arizona Public Service, NVE, Salt River Project, Tucson Electric Power and the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation. These BLM Corridor Transmission Facilities will not be energized until the facility begins operational testing. Moapa has agreed to sell the BLM Corridor Transmission Facilities to LADWP, and expects the sale to close prior to the facility’s commercial operation date.

Based on the anticipated delivery of power under the power purchase agreement, it is expected that the power purchase agreement with LADWP will expire in approximately the year 2041. The facility will have no uncommitted generating capacity available for sale to any third party during the term of the power purchase agreement.

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.