DESRI acquires 11 MW California PV project

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D. E. Shaw Renewable Investments (DESRI) has acquired First Solar’s 11 MW Rancho Seco Solar Project in Sacramento County, California, for an undisclosed amount.

Rancho Seco is located on 60 acres (24.3 hectares) of property owned by the Sacramento Municipal Utility District (SMUD) — the site of the decommissioned Rancho Seco Nuclear Generation Station. SMUD holds a 20-year power purchase agreement for energy from the plant.

Equipped with First Solar’s advanced thin-film modules mounted on single-axis tracking tables, Rancho Seco is expected to produce more than 23,000 MWh of electricity per year.

Rancho Seco is set to provide energy for SMUD’s commercial SolarShares program. Through the program, the Golden 1 Center, currently under construction for the Sacramento Kings basketball team, will obtain approximately 85% of its power from Rancho Seco, making it one of the greenest sports arenas in the world, according to First Solar.

"We are pleased to buy another First Solar project and incorporate their leading edge equipment into our operating fleet," said DESRI CEO Bryan Martin, adding that the company looked forward to partnering with First Solar on more opportunities in the future. Earlier this year, a DESRI affiliate acquired from First Solar the 31 MW-AC Portal Ridge solar project, currently in construction in Lancaster, California.

Brian Kunz, First Solar’s vice president of project development, said the latest deal built on the company’s relationship with DESRI and added, "DESRI’s commitment to renewable solar energy represents a tremendous opportunity for a continued strategic partnership."

DESRI owns and manages long-term contracted renewable energy assets in North America. Its portfolio of renewable energy projects currently includes 25 wind and solar projects that represent more than 1.2 GW of aggregate capacity.