REC Solar Completes Solar Projects For Two Hawaii Landmarks

California-based REC Solar has completed six solar power sites for two customers in Hawaii.

REC Solar has installed two solar arrays totaling 120 kW at the W. M. Keck Observatory, located in Kamuela, Hawaii. The facility, located on the summit of the 13,796-foot Mauna Kea dormant volcano, houses the twin 10-meter Keck optical and infrared telescopes.

According to the observatory, the solar power systems incorporate 696 solar panels on the southeast- and southwest-facing roofs of the headquarters and visiting scientist center buildings. Combined, the arrays are expected to produce approximately 500 kWh per day on a yearly average, about 20% of the observatory’s usage. While the location is subject to frequent misting rain, the PV projects are expected to save almost $60,000 per year in electricity costs.

Steve Jefferson, communications officer for the W. M. Keck Observatory, says the facility wanted to install a solar energy system to complement its scientific mission.

“We get a real kick knowing we are harnessing the power of a star to view other stars and the cosmos that spawned them,” Jefferson says.

REC Solar also was selected to design and install four ground-mount systems at the Dole Plantation on Oahu, Hawaii. The pineapple farm attracts more than one million visitors a year.

“Now, we use the Hawaii sun to not only support agricultural activities, but also to help us reduce our impact on the planet,” says Michael Moon, director of operations for Dole Plantation. “It also provides us a historical connection by harnessing the sun to harvest a new crop: renewable energy.”

Hawaii is a rapidly growing solar market that benefits from abundant sunshine and a renewable mandate to obtain 40% of its power from local renewable generation by 2030. REC Solar says it has a total of 19 MW of projects in Hawaii completed or under construction this year, with more than 27 MW of solar installations since 2008.

In June, REC Solar commenced construction on a 14.53 MW solar array for Hawaii utility Kauai Island Utility Cooperative. The 57,624-panel solar photovoltaic system will be located on a 60-acre site in Anahola, on the northeast side of the island of Kauai. A 6 MW lithium-ion battery energy storage system will be installed alongside the array. Upon completion in 2015, the project is expected to generate 5% of Kauai’s annual energy needs. S


Saft Providing Energy Storage System In Hawaii

Saft has been awarded a contract by Kauai Island Utility Cooperative (KIUC) to provide a 6 MW/4.63 MWh battery-based energy storage system as part of the 12 MW solar project in Anahola, Hawaii. It is intended to provide frequency support, voltage regulation and energy reserve functions for the local grid.

The KIUC is the only franchised provider of electric service to its consumers on the island of Kauai, which has a population of 65,000. The utility’s all-time peak load is 78 MW through 13 substations. It is building the new $50 million solar energy park in partnership with the Department of Hawaiian Home Lands and the Homestead Community Development Corp. in an effort to diversify its generating portfolio.

As part of the agreement, Saft will provide eight Intensium Max 20 lithium-ion containerized batteries. Two additional containers house ABB PCS inverters.


Partners Acquire 24 MW Searchlight Solar

D. E. Shaw Renewable Investments LLC and Bright Plain Renewable Energy LLC have acquired the 24 MW Searchlight solar project from American Capital Energy Inc.

Signal Energy will serve as the engineering, procurement and construction contractor for the project and will also provide operations and maintenance services. Searchlight is expected to produce more than 45 GWh of electricity per year for customers of NV Energy.

KeyBank NA provided construction and term financing for the project.


Google Invests $145M
In Regulus Plant

Google Inc. has invested $145 million in equity financing for the 82 MW Regulus solar plant under development by SunEdison in Kern County, Calif.

SunEdison developed, designed and is constructing the Regulus project, which was contributed to its yieldco subsidiary, TerraForm Power. The 737-acre photovoltaic facility is being built on an abandoned gas and oil field and will incorporate over 248,000 SunEdison monocrystalline modules.

The Regulus plant is scheduled to begin operations later this year and will supply power to Southern California Edison through a 20-year power purchase agreement. SunEdison will provide operations and maintenance services.

Prudential Capital Group and Santander Bank NA provided term financing for the project.

Google has signed agreements to fund over $1.5 billion in renewable energy investments worldwide, with a total planned capacity of more than 2.5 GW.


EDF RE Selling 57 MW
Of Projects To Dominion

EDF Renewable Energy (EDF RE) says that Dominion is acquiring two California solar projects totaling 57 MW of power.

The projects being sold by EDF RE are the 32.6 MW Cottonwood Solar and 24.3 MW Catalina Solar 2. The sale agreement is subject to the customary conditions; it will close upon completion of installation, after which EDF RE will manage the commissioning and place the projects in service.

Cottonwood Solar consists of three sites, two of which are ground-mount facilities located on private land in the central California counties of Kern and Kings. The third site is a carport structure to be built in Marin County. The project is secured under a 25-year power purchase agreement (PPA).

Catalina Solar 2, located on 270 acres in the Mojave Desert of Kern County, is designed as a solar PV horizontal single-axis tracker project and is secured under a 20-year PPA.

Construction on both projects is anticipated to commence in the fourth quarter, with commercial operation expected in the second quarter of next year.


Canadian Solar Sells ‘Mighty Solar’ To Concord

Canadian Solar Solutions Inc. has completed the sale of the 10 MW Mighty Solar power plant to One West Holdings Ltd., an affiliate of Concord Green Energy.

Valued at approximately $54.9 million, the Mighty Solar power plant is located in Chesterville, Ontario. The Ontario Power Authority awarded the project a 20-year power purchase contract under the province’s feed-in tariff program.

The sale is the second of five planned transactions. In July, Canadian Solar Solutions sold the 10 MW Val Caron solar power plant to One West Holdings.


Greenwood To Develop 250 MW In Mexico

Greenwood Energy and Mexico-based renewable energy company ILIOSS have formed a partnership to develop over 250 MW of new solar photovoltaic projects in Mexico by 2017.

Under the partnership, ILIOSS will develop the projects and provide all engineering, procurement and construction services, as well as operations and maintenance services. Greenwood Energy will finance construction and own the projects once completed.

Once commissioned, electricity from the solar plants will be sold through long-term power purchase agreements.

Greenwood has undertaken multiple PV projects in Latin America this year and has a 2 GW pipeline in the region, primarily in Panama, Peru and Chile. ILIOSS focuses on commercial-scale rooftop installations and is currently building 32.6 MW of solar projects at several locations for a Mexican retail chain.

“We envision helping unlock Mexico’s potential as a major solar energy producer,” says Camilo Patrignani, CEO of Greenwood Energy. “Each new solar system helps our customers reduce energy consumption and costs, while we contribute to helping Mexico reduce its carbon footprint and diversify its energy sources.”


Kearsarge Builds
15.4 MW Portfolio In Mass.

Kearsarge Energy has completed a portfolio of solar photovoltaic projects totaling 15.4 MW across six sites in Massachusetts. The projects were developed under the commonwealth’s first solar renewable energy certificate (SREC I) program.

The latest projects, located in Hubbardston, Concord, Barre, Chicopee and Chester, range in size from 870 kW to 6 MW. Sites include former agricultural land, a capped public landfill, a former ski hill and surplus industrial land adjacent to an air base. Kearsarge owns and operates all of the projects.

Kearsarge says it is currently developing more than 100 MW of projects throughout the East Coast, including a portfolio of Massachusetts SREC II projects.


Greenbacker Acquires Solar Portfolio In Colo.

New York-based Greenbacker Renewable Energy Co. LLC says its wholly owned subsidiary has signed a definitive agreement to acquire an $880,000 solar portfolio with assets in Colorado.

The Sunny Mountain portfolio consists of rooftop and ground-mount solar systems located on municipal, commercial and residential properties. Electricity produced by the portfolio is sold under long-term power purchase agreements.


SunEdison Completes Projects For Calif.

SunEdison Inc. has completed and interconnected two photovoltaic systems at state facilities in California.

The 2.6 MW array at Coalinga State Hospital and the 1.6 MW system at Pleasant Valley State Prison have been sold to SunEdison’s yieldco subsidiary, TerraForm Power Inc., which has 20-year power purchase agreements with the California Department of State Hospitals and the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation.

With the completion of these two projects, all five of the systems in TerraForm Power’s California public institutions portfolio are now fully operational. Operation and maintenance of the two solar power plants will be performed by SunEdison.


ATI Supplying Western
Blue Sky Ranch

Array Technologies Inc. (ATI) is delivering its DuraTrack HZ single-axis tracking systems to engineering, procurement and construction firm Rosendin Electric for the 24 MW Western Blue Sky Ranch solar project in Lancaster, Calif.

The array, which is located within the city limits, incorporates nearly 80,000 solar modules and is expected to be completed in December. ATI says it is also providing engineering support, pre-site kitting and training services on the project.


SunPower Installing 10.2 MW For Verizon

This year, Verizon will install 10.2 MW of new solar power systems at eight of its network facilities in five states - California, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Jersey and New York. Verizon has contracted with SunPower Corp. to design and install all of the solar systems.

With the new solar investment announcement, Verizon is on target to deploy upward of 25 MW of renewables upon completion of the new solar projects. According to Verizon, “the new equipment, consisting of high-efficiency rooftop, parking-structure and ground-mounted solar PV systems, will vary from site to site.”

Currently, the company has deployed 14.2 MW of on-site green energy using a combination of fuel cells and solar power systems at its data centers. Verizon also uses 26 solar-assisted cell sites in remote areas in the western U.S. S

Projects & Contracts

REC Solar Completes Solar Projects For Two Hawaii Landmarks




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