NextEra commissions 485 MW of solar projects in California

State and local leaders joined executives from NextEra Energy Resources and its partners to commission the Blythe and McCoy Solar Energy Centers, said NextEra in a Nov. 10 statement.

“These projects represent a more than $1.2 billion investment in California and a tremendous step forward to help the state meet its renewable energy goals,” said Armando Pimentel, president and CEO of NextEra Energy Resources, which built and will own and operate the projects. “We are very pleased to bring these solar energy centers online to help serve the state and boost the local economy.”

The Blythe and McCoy Solar Energy Centers feature more than 4 million solar panels with trackers that will follow the sun from east to west each day to maximize energy production. Together, they have a generating capacity of 485 MW. The energy will serve customers of Southern California Edison and help health care provider Kaiser Permanente become “carbon net positive.” The projects’ solar arrays span more than 4,000 acres of land in Riverside County, much of it managed by the U.S. Bureau of Land Management.

“California leads the nation in renewable energy and these projects demonstrate that commitment,” said California Energy Commissioner Karen Douglas. “They are great examples of renewable energy projects on public lands that are helping us address climate change while respecting the many important values of the desert environment.”

NextEra Energy Resources has approximately 18,260 MW of generating capacity, which includes megawatts associated with non-controlling interests related to NextEra Energy Partners LP (NYSE: NEP), primarily in 25 states and Canada as of April 2016. NextEra Energy Resources is a subsidiary of Juno Beach, Fla.-based NextEra Energy (NYSE: NEE).

Kaiser Permanente in a separate Nov. 10 statement celebrated the opening of the Blythe Solar Energy Center, which will generate enough renewable energy to reduce Kaiser Permanente’s greenhouse gas emissions by more than 15%. Kaiser Permanente enabled project construction through a 20-year agreement to purchase 110 MW of the green energy generated at the site.

“Climate change is inextricably linked to the health of our communities,” said Kathy Gerwig, Kaiser Permanente’s environmental stewardship officer. “Increased rates of asthma and other lung ailments, economically crippling droughts and the trauma of extreme weather events are some examples of the impacts we’re already seeing. As a health care provider, we must be a leader in eliminating practices that can negatively impact environmental and human health.”

Kaiser Permanente’s goal of going carbon net positive by 2025 – by buying enough clean energy and carbon offsets to remove more carbon emissions from the atmosphere than the organization emits – is one component of the health care system’s ambitious long-term sustainability goals. Kaiser Permanente is also taking steps to purchase only sustainably produced food, sell zero waste to landfills, and reduce the amount of water it uses by 25% per square foot of buildings.

Kaiser Permanente currently serves more than 10.6 million members in eight states and the District of Columbia. Care for members and patients is focused on their total health and guided by their personal physicians, specialists and team of caregivers. Our expert and caring medical teams are empowered and supported by industry-leading technology advances and tools for health promotion, disease prevention, state-of-the-art care delivery and world-class chronic disease management.

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.