Berkshire Hathaway Energy agrees PPA for 320 MW Utah solar projects

Rocky Mountain Power, a subsidiary of U.S. tycoon Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway Energy group, has signed a 20-year power purchase agreement (PPA) with solar developer First Wind for the solar power produced at its planned, 320 MW solar development in Utah, U.S.

The largest solar developer in the state, First Wind will construct the Four Brothers solar project in Utah’s Beaver County and Iron County. The project will comprise four 80 MW solar parks, with construction set to begin at the start of 2015. During construction, 500 local jobs will be created, and the projects’ 20-year life cycle will rake in an estimated $66 million in direct property and income taxes. Completion is slated for mid-2016.

"We are excited to be part of Utah’s clean energy revolution, which will transform this rural part of Southern Utah into a hub of renewable energy production," said Beaver County commissioner Mark Whitney. "In addition to the clean energy, these solar projects will be a boon for our local economy through hundreds of construction jobs and new property and tax revenue that will help support our community."

Poised to be the largest solar development in the state, the Four Brothers solar project forms part of First Wind’s wider PV efforts in Utah, which includes the 20 MW Seven Sisters project. Under its obligations with Utah’s Public Utility Regulatory Policies Act (PURPA), Rocky Mountain Power has agreed to purchase clean solar energy from both projects.

The Four Brothers solar project will generate 800,000 MWh of clean power per year – enough to service the electricity needs of 90,000 local households.

Combined with the Severn Sisters project, First Wind will boast the largest collection of solar projects in the state, which despite lagging behind other sun-rich U.S. states in fulfilling its solar potential (ranking 28th nationwide), has pressed ahead positively in recent months with a number of large solar projects.