Coronal Energy marks commercial start for Tulare solar project in California

Coronal Energy announced Nov. 29 that Coronal Tulare, a 34-MW (ac) (44.2 MW dc) solar facility in California, began commercial operation in mid September.

The project delivers power to Southern California Edison (SCE) through a 20-year power purchase agreement (PPA). It is expected to generate 87,500 MWh annually. Coronal Tulare is part of a larger portfolio of potential projects that together make up the Tulare Solar Center, which would total 80 MW (ac) if fully built out.

The Coronal Tulare project includes two sites. The 20 MW (ac) (26 MW dc) Nicolis site was built on 144 acres and the adjacent 14 MW (ac) (8.2 MW dc) Tropico location spans 109 acres. The project also includes the Growers and Changala substations.

“Coronal Energy, powered by Panasonic, is committed to driving the future of solar energy,” said Jonathan Jaffrey, chairman and CEO of Coronal Energy. “We consistently seek out and leverage the best technology and expertise so that projects are completed quickly and efficiently, and to ensure that they will produce clean, reliable energy for decades to come.”

The Tulare Solar Center has integrated self-powered tracking technology. The array uses its own generated solar power to rotate the solar panels, increasing energy yields.

“With its self-powered tracking technology we’re making solar smarter to bolster generation and improve the array’s capacity factor,” said Jamie Evans, managing director of the Energy Solutions Group at Panasonic Enterprise Solutions Co. “Ultimately, that feeds more clean solar energy to Southern California Edison and its customers, and we’re proud to thus support SCE’s solar and renewable energy leadership.”

Coronal Energy purchased the project companies and the rights to construct the projects from W Power, a certified, women-owned business enterprise. Panasonic and Blue Oak Energy, a division of Coronal Energy, oversaw construction. Coronal Energy will own the project, while Panasonic will perform operations and maintenance, with real-time monitoring from the company’s new state-of-the-art network operations center in Denver.

Coronal Energy is a leading provider of renewable energy solutions—especially solar PV—for diverse enterprise customers across North America, including utilities, corporations, the public sector, educational institutions, and other organizations. It unites Panasonic’s financial strength and award-winning history of solar innovation and sustainability leadership with the project development, finance, engineering, construction, and asset management experience of Coronal Energy.

In December 2014, Panasonic made an initial strategic investment in Coronal, followed by a second investment in September 2016. Coronal announced the acquisition of HelioSage Energy, a leading utility-scale solar project developer, in February 2015. In September of the same year, Coronal and Panasonic announced a strategic investment in Blue Oak Energy, a best-in-class commercial and utility-scale solar engineering and construction company founded in 2003.

The Coronal Energy team also includes the Energy Solutions Group of Panasonic Enterprise Solutions, a division of Panasonic Corp. of North America. Panasonic Corp. of North America is a leading technology partner and integrator to businesses, government agencies, and consumers across the region. The company is the principal North American subsidiary of Osaka, Japan-based Panasonic Corp.

The Coronal Energy portfolio includes projects in 40 states totaling 2.3 GW with more than 3.4 GW of greenfield and brownfield projects under construction/contract, in development, or in the pipeline. The integrated team maintains offices across North America in California, Colorado, New Jersey, Virginia, and Toronto.

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.