SunEdison continues solar rollout in Utah with 262 MW of projects


Utah remains hot terrain for SunEdison, which just signed agreements to construct and install three new utility-scale solar power plants in the southern end of the state with a total capacity of 262 MW.

The announcement follows start of construction of the company’s 22.6 MW Seven Sisters solar project, also in Southern Utah.

Electric utility PacifiCorp, which serves 1.8 million residential, commercial and industrial customers, will purchase the electricity through three 20-year power purchase agreements according to its obligation under the federal Public Utilities Regulatory Policies Act. A division of PacifiCorp will also purchase electricity generated by the Seven Sisters project.

The purchase agreements and the price of the electricity will be at the utility’s avoided cost of electricity, which reflects the utility’s costs to purchase or generate the power from other resources. The contract remains subject to approval by the Utah Public Service Commission to ensure a fair price for PacifiCorp customers.

Like Seven Sisters, which comprises seven projects, the three new projects will also be located in Beaver and Iron Counties.

The three solar power plants are located in Iron County in Southern Utah, where three of the seven Seven Sisters plants are also located. The new installations include 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. SunEdison will begin construction of the power plants in the fall, with commercial operations expected to start in 2016.

SunEdison has made a major commitment to Utah, with more than 720 MW-dc of solar energy in development and 306 MW-ac of wind power in the state. SunEdison’s other solar projects in Utah include the 420 MW Four Brothers, and 22 MW of smaller projects.

As with the Seven Sisters project, SunEdison yieldco subsidiary TerraForm Power has an option to acquire the plants upon completion.

The group’s operation and maintenance unit, SunEdison Services, will handle O&M services for the plants.