Yesterday (March 10) 8minutenergy Renewables and Gestamp signed a 20 year power-purchase agreement (PPA) for the 50 megawatt Midway Solar Farm project in Imperial County, Calif. The project will be located on 486 acres of low-productivity farmland. 8minutenergy’s unique large-scale solar project platform is based on doing projects located on previously used land.
Over the past few years California and the southwestern U.S. has seen some of the world’s largest solar arrays coming online. PV arrays like the 579 megawatt Solar Star project or the 550 megawatt Topaz Solar Farm are still being built and coming online but increasingly people are anticipating that future utility-scale solar projects will be smaller projects, like the Midway Solar Farm. That the companies signed the PPA shows that there’s still an appetite for solar even in markets like California, which has more solar power online than any other state in the union.
The companies, which are jointly building the solar farm, signed the PPA with Pacific Gas and Electric Co. (PG&E), which will allow the utility to use all 50 megawatts of power provided by the solar farm. "This PPA for the Midway Solar Farm represents a true milestone for all parties involved," said Jorge Barredo, CEO of Gestamp Solar.
Construction on the project is slated to start in 2015 and will start providing solar electricity to third parties in 2016. However, under the PPA it will start providing solar power to PG&E in 2020.
“The employment opportunities this project creates will help Imperial County, which currently suffers from one of the highest rates of unemployment in the state and in the country,” saidMartin Hermann, 8minutenergy CEO. "The Midway Solar Farm will create approximately 120 direct and 150 indirect jobs during construction, and contribute to the local economy in Imperial County.…We are proud to help California meet its clean energy goals, while also bringing jobs to areas that badly need them.”
The solar power system for the Midway Solar Farm will be comprised of state-of-the-art solar photovoltaic modules, related power electronics, and other components including an advanced tracking system that follows the sun to maximize energy production. The PPA contract is pen ding approval from the California Public Utilities Commission.
In addition to the Midway solar project, 8minutenergy has already signed 375 megawatts of PPAs. It developed the 266 megawatt Mount Signal Solar project, which is now under construction as the first of three planned phases of a larger 800 megawatt project.Tweet