- National energy producer and transporter Dominion, the corporate parent of multiple generation, transmission and distribution utilities across the U.S., has agreed to acquire the Cottonwood Solar and the Catalina solar photovoltaic projects in California from EDF Renewable Energy. EDF will oversee the construction, expected to begin by the end of 2014, and act as operator when the projects go online by mid-2015.
- Cottonwood Solar, which has a 25 year power purchase agreement (PPA), will be made up of three separate sites, including two ground-mount solar arrays totaling 31.6 megawatts on private land in central California and a 1 megawatt carport rooftop just north of San Francisco.
- Catalina Solar 2, which has a 20 year PPA, will be 24.3 megawatt array to be built in the Mojave Desert on single axis trackers.
This adds to the 20 megawatt CID project Dominion purchased earlier this year from EDF and brings Dominion’s total contracted solar portfolio to 274 megawatts of utility-scale solar in California, Connecticut, Georgia, Indiana, and Tennessee.
Electric utility subsidiary Dominion Virginia also plans to build, own, and operate 30 megawatts of business and residential distributed solar in its service territory.
The common theme in these Dominion moves, according to solar advocates, is the utility’s control of the solar. It is an emerging trend, as evidenced by Duke Energy’s recent contracting for utility scale solar and Arizona Public Service’s announcement that it will ask regulators for permission to own and operate residential systems as part of its rate base.