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Fortnightly Magazine - June 2013

560-MW combined cycle gas turbine plant produces about 400 MW of electricity plus steam capacity of more than a million pounds per hour. 

Southern Company acquired the 139-MW Campo Verde Solar Project by subsidiary Southern Power and Turner Renewable Energy from First Solar. This is the Southern Power-Turner partnership’s fifth solar acquisition and its first solar project in California. The new solar project will be built, operated, and maintained by First Solar, and is located on a 1,443-acre site in Imperial County. San Diego Gas & Electric (SDG&E) will buy the output under a 20-year agreement.

Duke Energy Renewables acquired two commercial solar power projects near Twentynine Palms, Calif., from project developer SolarWorld. The twin projects, named Highlander Solar 1 and 2, will be run as a single operation, generating 21 MW. Southern California Edison will purchase the output under a 20-year agreement. Terms weren’t disclosed.

First Solar agreed to acquire TetraSun, a PV technology startup that developed cell architecture reportedly capable of conversion efficiencies exceeding 21 percent with commercial-scale manufacturing costs comparable to conventional multicrystalline silicon solar cells. TetraSun was owned by JX Nippon Oil & Energy and other investors, including TetraSun management. Terms weren’t disclosed.

First Solar acquired the 60-MW North Star solar project in Fresno County, Calif., from NorthLight Power, a joint venture of Renewable Energy Corp., ASA and Summit Power Group. Terms weren’t disclosed. Construction is expected to begin in 2014 with startup in 2015. 

First Solar acquired the 150-MW Solar Gen 2 power project from an affiliate of Goldman Sachs, Energy Power Partners, and an unnamed third equity partner. Construction of the facility, which is located in Imperial County, Calif., near El Centro, is expected to start this year and be completed in 2014. SDG&E will buy the output under a 25-year agreement. Terms weren’t disclosed. 


Minnesota Power installed several electric infrastructure projects including substations and new transmission lines near Nashwauk, Minn., that will energize an Essar Steel taconite mine and processing facility. Minnesota Power and its contractors spent two years building the facilities, with a total $35 million investment. One of the new substations, the McCarthy Lake facility, was built to serve the taconite plant, and the new Calumet substation will serve the mine area. Ownership and costs of the facilities are split between the town of Nashwauk and Minnesota Power. 

The City of Georgetown, Texas, chose Elster’s EnergyAxis for its system-wide, multi-utility meter replacement project. Georgetown will deploy the system throughout its service territory, installing 21,000 each of Elster’s water and electricity meters. Additionally, Elster will work with partners Hometown Connections, the utility services subsidiary of the American Public Power Association (APPA), as well as Texas Meter & Device and Wesco Distribution, to customize the system for the city. 

Florida Power & Light successfully completed its DOE-supported grid modernization projects, including 4.5 million smart meters in its 35-county service area. FPL was one of only six utilities in the U.S. to receive a $200 million grant from the DOE to help fund a grid modernization project.

EVs & Storage

The University of Delaware and NRG Energy’s