8minutenergy, D.E. Shaw light up 155-MW Springbok 2 solar project

8minutenergy Renewables LLC and D. E. Shaw Renewable Investments LLC (DESRI) on Dec. 19 announced the commissioning of the 155 MW (ac) / (191 MW dc) Springbok 2 Solar Farm in Kern County, California.

Springbok 2 joins the 105 MW (ac) / (137 MW dc) Springbok 1 Solar Farm, which was commissioned earlier this year. Located 70 miles north of Los Angeles, the two new solar farms sell power through power offtake partner Southern California Public Power Authority (SCPPA), on behalf of its participating member, the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power (LADWP).

8minutenergy originally developed the Springbok 2 Solar Farm while DESRI and its affiliates invested the majority of the equity in the project and arranged financing from a group of lenders and tax equity investors. Swinerton Renewable Energy (SRE) served as the engineering, procurement, and construction (EPC) contractor, with construction management overseen by 8minutenergy and DESRI.

“The Springbok solar projects are integral to meeting Los Angeles’s renewable energy targets of 25 percent by 2016 and 33 percent by 2020. We are pleased to have a project of this size, scope, and importance completed on-budget and ahead of schedule,” said Michael Webster, LADWP Executive Director of Power System Engineering and Technical Services.

“At 8minutenergy, our goal is to deliver abundant, affordable renewable energy through impeccable execution of utility-scale solar PV and energy storage,” said Martin Hermann, 8minutenergy’s CEO and founder.

“DESRI is thrilled to see its Springbok 1 and Springbok 2 projects reach completion and begin supplying clean power to southern California,” said Bryan Martin, CEO of DESRI. “We appreciate the hard work of all of our partners at LADWP, 8minutenergy, and Swinerton, as well as the support of our lenders and investors, in reaching this important milestone.”

Springbok 2 Solar Farm is located on about 700 acres of abandoned farmland taken out of production more than 20 years ago. 8minutenergy began developing the project in 2011, creating an estimated 300 direct and 400 indirect jobs during construction in Kern County.

“Projects like Springbok 1 and 2 produce affordable, locally generated electricity while providing significant benefits to the local economy through job creation and collaboration with area businesses,” said George Hershman, Senior Vice President and General Manager of Swinerton Renewable Energy. “Construction at Springbok 1 and 2 created over 700 jobs for Kern County and the surrounding area.”

“The success of these projects in both providing positive economic impact and delivering clean energy to the region has been made possible by strong working relationships with SCPPA, LADWP, and the local Kern County Planning and Community Development Department as well as local community and environmental organizations for which we are grateful,” said Tom Buttgenbach, President of 8minutenergy.

Founded in 2009, 8minutenergy Renewables is the nation’s largest independent developer of solar PV projects. To date, 8minutenergy has over 5.5 gigawatts under development in North America, been awarded more than 1.5 GW in power purchase agreements, and is developing some of the largest solar plants in the world, including the 800 MW Mount Signal Solar Farm in California.

DESRI and its affiliates acquire, own, and manage long-term contracted renewable energy assets in North America. DESRI’s portfolio of renewable energy projects currently includes more than 26 wind and solar projects that represent approximately 1,300 MW of aggregate capacity. DESRI is a member of the D. E. Shaw group, a global investment and technology development firm with more than $40 billion in investment capital as of October 1, 2016, and offices in North America, Europe, and Asia.

Swinerton Renewable Energy offers engineering, procurement, construction, and SOLV services for solar photovoltaic plants throughout North America to a diverse range of clients. SRE has delivered over 1 GW solar projects and its SOLV team manages over 3.25 GW of PV plants.

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.