sPower kicks 107-MW Solverde 1 solar project into commercial operation

sPower and the California Department of Water Resources (DWR) on Dec. 20 announced commencement of commercial operations of the 107-MW (dc) Solverde 1 solar farm in the City of Lancaster, Calif.

sPower installed more than 330,000 solar modules with a peak construction crew of 250 plus workers. The 85-MW (ac) project was developed under an aggressive schedule going from signing the power purchase agreement (PPA) to completing interconnection to building and commissioning the project in just 12 months. Solverde 1 is the largest solar photovoltaic facility to provide power to the DWR. It is also the biggest solar Contract for Difference (CfD) project in the U.S. And it is the largest individual operating facility in the sPower portfolio.

“In recent years, the California State Water Project has steadily decreased its carbon footprint, and we’re proud to be able to support their needs with reliable, affordable clean energy,” said Jim Howell, sPower SVP of commercial power marketing. “The Contract for Difference structure of the Solverde 1 PPA lets DWR hedge against wholesale price fluctuations by locking in long-term, predictable and competitive power rates.”

Howell said that other customers, like large corporate entities, could also benefit from CfDs. “The power market is evolving rapidly. Commercial companies looking to meet sustainability targets or control energy costs must navigate a highly sophisticated and very complicated landscape. sPower is uniquely qualified to simplify the technical requirements for offtakers – from scheduling coordination with CAISO to innovative CfD structures to managing other market operations – which opens up the U.S. corporate PPA market.”

DWR Director Mark W. Cowin said the project is a major advancement in shrinking the State Water Project’s carbon footprint and cutting emissions that contribute to climate change. “We expect substantial environmental benefits due to this solar project,” said Cowin.

Headquartered in Salt Lake City, with offices in San Francisco, Long Beach and New York City, sPower is a leading independent power producer (IPP) that owns and operates more than 150 utility and commercial distributed electrical generation systems across the U.S. and the United Kingdom. To date, sPower has deployed more than $2 billion of capital for its solar and wind projects. With 6.7 gigawatts between operating, construction and pipeline, sPower is actively buying select utility-scale renewable assets in virtually any stage of development in the United States.

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.