8minutenergy, Saferay re-team on 19.7 MW California solar farm


California-based 8minutenergy Renewables and German solar construction and investment company Saferay have signed a 20-year power purchase deal with Pacific Gas and Electric Company (PG&E) for a 19.7 MW solar farm in Kern County, California.

8minutenergy Renewables and Saferay have a joint development agreement to develop and build the Woodmere Solar Farm project, a utility-scale solar generation facility located on 80 acres (32 hectares) of low-productivity farmland.

The companies are scheduled to begin construction on the project next year and expect it to be operational and delivering energy by December 2015.

"The Woodmere Solar Farm will create approximately 38 direct and 75 indirect jobs during construction and contribute to the local economy," said Martin Hermann, chief executive officer of 8minutenergy Renewables. "This project will provide economic benefits to the people of Kern County, which has a very high unemployment rate. We take pride in generating jobs and in helping California meet its clean energy goals."

8minutenergy Renewables President Tom Buttgenbach said the solar farm’s annual production of approximately 36 million kilowatt hours of electricity would "produce enough renewable solar energy to serve 6,750 households in California," adding that support from state, county and local officials has helped to move the project along.

The companies were "very appreciative" of that strong support, added Saferay CEO Boris Schubert, pointing out that: "This achievement underscores how Saferay’s EPC [engineering, procurement and construction] cost efficiency supports local development partners in delivering clean energy."

The partnering firms said the solar farm’s power system would comprise unidentified "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 pending approval from the California Public Utilities Commission.

8minutenergy Renewables and Saferay, which owns more than 160 MW of solar PV around the world, recently signed a similar agreement with PG&E and the California Independent Systems Operator Corporation (CAISO) for the 118.3 MW Redwood Solar Farm, also located in Kern County.