Renegotiated Mojave Solar PPA Wins CPUC Approval

The California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) has approved Pacific Gas & Electric Co.'s (PG&E) power purchase agreement (PPA) with Mojave Solar LLC. The 250 MW concentrating solar power (CSP) plant, under development in San Bernardino County, Calif., received a finalized loan guarantee from the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) in September.

Abengoa Solar Inc. is the sponsor of the project, which will use wet-cooled trough-style solar thermal technology. The approved PPA with PG&E will last 25 years and calls for annual deliveries of 617 GWh of energy. The project is expected to be online in July 2014.

The Mojave project was selected through PG&E's 2007 renewable portfolio standard solicitation. PG&E initially submitted a PPA with Mojave Solar on Oct. 27, 2009, the CPUC says.

While the PPA was pending CPUC approval, Mojave Solar learned that the transmission network upgrades necessary for the project to provide resource adequacy to PG&E would not be completed until several years after the project was scheduled to achieve commercial operation.

Because the PPA required that the facility provide resource adequacy, PG&E and Mojave Solar renegotiated it in order to meet the requirements for the DOE loan guarantee and to maintain the value of the original PPA.

The contract is more costly than other procurement opportunities available to PG&E, but the CPUC determined that the value of adding the Mojave Solar project to California's fleet of renewable energy generation capacity warranted approving the project.

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