FERC okays sale of in-construction, 50-MW Luning solar project in Nevada

The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission on Nov. 14 approved an Oct. 6 application from Luning Energy LLC (Luning) and Liberty Utilities (CalPeco Electric) LLC (LU CalPeco) for a transaction in which Liberty Utilities (Luning Holdings) LLC (Liberty Luning Holdings), a direct subsidiary of LU CalPeco, will acquire all of the membership interests in Luning.

At the time of closing on this Liberty Transaction, the owners of Liberty Luning Holdings will be: LU CalPeco, as the owner of the Class B membership interests in, and the managing member of Liberty Luning Holdings; and Firstar Development LLC (Firstar), as the owner of the passive, non-controlling Class A membership interests in Liberty Luning Holdings. If Firstar is not an owner of Liberty Luning Holdings by the time the Liberty Transaction closes, then Luning requested authorization for the indirect change in its ownership that would occur thereafter under a separate transaction, where Firstar will acquire the Class A membership interests in Liberty Luning Holding.

Luning is a direct, wholly owned subsidiary of Luning Energy Holdings (LE Holdings). LE Holdings is an exempt wholesale generator (EWG) and has been granted market-based rate authority by the commission. LE Holdings is an indirect, wholly-owned subsidiary of Invenergy Investment Co. LLC (Invenergy Investment). Luning is constructing and will own and operate a 50-MW solar project located in Mineral County, Nevada. The Luning Project will be interconnected with the transmission system owned by Sierra Pacific Power.

LU CalPeco is an indirect, wholly owned subsidiary of Algonquin Power & Utilities Corp. (Algonquin), a diversified electric power generation, transmission, and utility infrastructure company located in Canada. LU CalPeco is an electric utility that serves approximately 49,000 electric customers in eastern California and the Lake Tahoe area.

The only generation jurisdictional physical asset owned or controlled by LU CalPeco is the 12-MW Kings Beach diesel-fired generation facility and switching substation located in Placer County, California, within the NV Energy BAA. This facility is used to provide emergency backup power to LU CalPeco’s California customers and to limited portions of Sierra Pacific Power’s system.

After Liberty Luning Holdings acquires Luning in the Liberty Transaction, Luning and LU CalPeco will enter into a long-term power purchase agreement (PPA) for the sale by Luning to LU CalPeco of the full output of the Luning Project. The power sales will not begin until after the Liberty Transaction has closed.

Firstar is a wholly-owned, indirect subsidiary of U.S. Bancorp.

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.