- SunEdison signed power purchase agreements (PPAs) with Pacificorp for three new solar photovoltaic (PV) power plants totaling 262 MW of nameplate capacity in southern Utah, PV Magazine reports. The solar developer also just started construction on the 22.6 MW Seven Sisters solar project in southern Utah.
- Pacificorp was obligated to sign the contracts under the federal Public Utilities Regulatory Policies Act (PURPA) because the PPA price for the solar-generated electricity meets or beats the utility's avoided cost of generating the electricity or buying it from another source.
- The contracts with Pacificorp, which is also buying the Seven Sisters project's output, must be approved by the Utah Public Service Commission. The three new installations are the 63 MW Granite Mountain Solar West plant, the 100 MW Granite Mountain Solar East plant, and the 99 MW DC Iron Springs Solar plant.
Construction will begin in Q3 2015 and the projects are expected to be online before the end of 2016 in order to qualify for the full value of the 30% federal investment tax credit. SunEdison Services will handle O&M for the plants.
SunEdison, the world’s biggest renewables developer, has 720 MW of solar and 306 MW of wind in development in Utah. Its value proposition for utility-scale development is enhanced because Terraform Power, SunEdison’s yieldco subsidiary, acquires the completed projects, sell shares, and re-investments the proceeds to fund new SunEdison development.
SunEdison can also keep its costs and prices low because, as a fully vertically-integrated solar company, it co-manufactures the silicon in its own solar modules, which are then used by its own engineering, procurement, and construction team to build the projects.
Pacificorp is a subsidiary of Berkeshire Hathaway Energy, a division of Warren Buffett’s investment company. It has been aggressively acquiring renewables assets in recent years.