Borrego Solar Systems Inc. has broken ground on a 9.1 MW photovoltaic project in Riverhead, N.Y, for developer Sustainable Power Group (sPower).
Borrego is serving as engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) contractor for the project, which is located in Suffolk County on Long Island. The installation features Canadian Solar and Yingli Solar modules mounted on a fixed-array TerraSmart racking system. The inverters were supplied by Advanced Energy.
The project will supply energy to Public Service Enterprise Group Long Island (PSEG-LI) under the utility's first Clean Solar Initiative (CSI) feed-in tariff (FIT) program. sPower has a 20-year power purchase agreement (PPA) with PSEG-LI at a fixed rate of $0.22/kWh. The utility's second CSI FIT program has a more modest rate of less than $0.16/kWh.
Borrego was approached by sPower shortly after the latter inked the PPA with PSEG-LI a little over a year ago. According to Brian von Moos, vice president of utility project development at Borrego, the location of the project is near ideal from both a development and construction perspective.
‘The Riverhead project is on industrial land, which our partner owns,’ von Moos says. ‘It's a big piece of industrial property that is perfect for solar. There were not any neighbors worried about aesthetics or other NIMBY issues.’
While Borrego's role in the project is as EPC, von Moos says his company tries to add value based on its own experience as a developer. Borrego was involved in the entitlement and land-use process. It had a representative at all of the public hearings.
The location is a former sod farm, which is both flat, treeless and zoned for industrial use. It is on a public road, adjacent to train tracks, and will be set back about 100 feet. Furthermore, it is next to a PSEG-LI substation, which simplifies interconnection issues significantly.
‘Being this close to a substation allows us to get a little more scale, be a little bigger while keeping the cost of the interconnection facilities very low,’ von Moos says.
The Riverhead project is one of several sPower and Borrego have partnered on under PSEG-LI's first FIT program. The details of a second project will be announced shortly.