On Nov. 10 Clenera and Swinerton Renewable Energy (SRE) announced that the 108 megawatt (MW) Grand View PV Solar Two projects will come online by the end of November 2016. The project is the largest to date in Idaho and makes it one of the few states in the US with solar projects that are 100 or more megawatts in size.
The project consists of two solar installations, one 81 MW installation and another 27 MW installation built on 673 total acres. The $200 million project will replace power from coal-fired power plants in the Treasure Valley area, with its more than 300,000 solar panels serving the electric needs of approximately 17,712 homes in the region. Project partners, SRE and Clenera, observed that the new system is among the first utility-scale solar projects to come online in the state.
While Idaho hasn’t been a hotspot for solar power in the past, more recently some Solarize discount programs have encouraged homeowners to go solar. In fact, one recently program created by the Snake River Alliance netted more than $800,000 in investments and will support 40 households going solar.
The Grand View project will supply power to Idaho Power under the federal Public Utility Regulatory Policies Act (PURPA), which was passed in 1978. While in the past many large-scale utility-scale solar projects were driven by renewable portfolio standards in places like California, but now more are expected to come through PURPA procurements as the price of utility-scale solar power has fallen to as low as $35 per megawatt-hour.
"Through our continuing partnership with Clēnera, we are pleased to help set the precedent for utility-scale projects in Idaho's emerging solar market. Grand View models the impactful role solar can play in local economies, surrounding communities, and our environment," said George Hershman, Senior Vice President and General Manager of Swinerton Renewable Energy. "Congratulations to Clēnera and to the SRE team at Grand View on another successful project.”
During construction of the project, which was completed in September, the project created about 300 jobs, according to the engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) contractor SRE. A ribbon cutting ceremony with project owner Clenera was held Oct. 20, but the project will not be commissioned until later this month.Tweet