EDF Renewable Energy (formerly enXco) has dedicated the 143 MW Catalina Solar project in Kern County, Calif. The project is located near the 140 MW Pacific Wind project, a wind power project.
The two renewable energy power plants were developed and contracted independently, but their close geographic proximity to one another enabled the projects to share certain infrastructure and thus evolve into one of the largest wind/solar hybrid projects in the U.S., according to EDF Renewable Energy.
Pacific Wind formally began operation in August, and the first phase of Catalina Solar will begin operation in December. Both will deliver electricity into the grid for San Diego Gas & Electric Company's (SDG&E) generation portfolio under two separate power purchase agreements.
These new projects bring the total renewable energy capacity under long-term agreements with SDG&E to 343 MW – all of which are generated in Kern County.
‘Pacific Wind and Catalina Solar are the direct result of California's renewable energy mandate, as well as the federal production tax credit (PTC) and the investment tax credit (ITC),’ notes Mark Tholke, vice president of EDF Renewable Energy's Southwest region. ‘The PTC for wind and, more recently, the ITC for solar assist renewable resources in leveling the playing field against fossil fuels, which have decades of government incentives behind them.’
Catalina will feature 82 MW of modules from Solar Frontier and 60 MW of modules from First Solar. EDF Renewable Services, formerly enXco Service Corp., will provide operations and maintenance services for both the Catalina project and Pacific Wind.