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Fortnightly Magazine - December 2013


EDF Renewable Energy’s 143-MW Catalina Solar Project began operating, selling power to SDG&E.

EDF Renewable Energy dedicated the 143-MW Catalina Solar Project in Kern County, Calif. Located on 900 acres of privately owned land southwest of the Tehachapi and Piute mountains, the thin-film PV project is comprised of 82 MW Solar Frontier and 61 MW First Solar PV modules. EDF Renewable Services is providing long-term operations and maintenance.  San Diego Gas & Electric will purchase the plant’s output under a 25-year agreement. 

Abengoa announced that Solana, the world´s largest parabolic trough plant and also the first solar plant in the United States with thermal energy storage, has successfully passed commercial operation tests. A thermal energy storage system allows Solana to generate electricity for six hours without the concurrent use of the solar field. The plant consists of parabolic shaped mirrors mounted on structures that track the sun and concentrate the sun’s heat, later transforming water into steam and powering a conventional steam turbine. Arizona Public Service (APS) will purchase the output under a 30-year agreement. The total investment of the plant is approximately $2 billion. Solana received a federal loan guarantee for $1.45 billion from the United States Department of Energy Federal Loan Guarantee Program. Solana is located near Gila Bend and about 70 miles southwest of Phoenix, Ariz., and began construction in 2010.

Southern Company subsidiary Southern Power , in partnership with Turner Renewable Energy , began commercial operation on the Spectrum Solar Facility, located in Clark County, Nev. The 30-MW solar PV installation uses tracking technology that enables greater efficiency by directing solar panels to track the sun as it moves across the sky. The 311-acre site was built and will be operated and maintained by SunEdison. Southern Power and Turner Renewable Energy acquired the project from SunEdison in September 2012.  Nevada Power will purchase the output under a 25-year contract.

The $2 billion Solana parabolic trough solar power and energy storage plant started operating in Arizona.

AEG Power Solutions and its subsidiary Skytron Energy successfully deployed a 5.8-MW commercial PV installation for PPA Partners , a national renewable energy development company in Yuma, Ariz. The PV installation covers four individual sites, each divided into multiple sub-sites, and a mix of rooftop, ground, and carport installations. The system included AEG PS Protect PV.500 inverters, which feature power stacks with advanced measuring and control technology to enable input voltages of up to 1,000 volts DC. Skytron provided a complete monitoring, control and supervision package which includes the PVGuard control room platform. The PVGuard software integrates all sites into one visualization platform. 

Green States Energy engaged S&C Electric for a $9.7 million project to build a 4.1-MW solar PV farm in Sandwich, Mass. S&C will lead the project team and provide engineering, procurement, and project management services for both the AC and DC portions of the project. Charlotte, N.C.-based Green Earth Developers is providing physical construction services, installing the racking systems and solar panels, and managing construction of the DC systems and AC interconnection.

Enphase Energy completed a 125-building distributed solar project developed by Main Street Power that uses Enphase microinverters. The project was spread across 29 facilities in the San Diego Unified School District, with individual system designs varying