Sempra U.S. Gas & Power and Consolidated Edison Development (ConEdison Development) partnered in five solar projects in Nevada and California. The projects include Sempra U.S. Gas & Power's 250-MW Copper Mountain Solar 3 project near Las Vegas, and ConEdison Development's CED California Holdings portfolio: the 50-MW Alpaugh 50, 20-MW Alpaugh North and 20-MW White River 1 facilities in Tulare County, and the 20-MW Corcoran 1 facility in Kings County. The renewable power from all of the projects has been sold under long-term contracts.
Solar projects are becoming hot investments.
With recent scale-up in both photovoltaic and concentrated thermal facilities, solar energy is nearing cost parity with wind and even some fossil generation sources. And with development models evolving to help companies manage technology risks, solar power has become an attractive investment opportunity—not just for tax-equity players, but also for utilities.
Utility-scale projects suffer growing pains.
Anyone who’s been watching the solar power industry for more than a few years can’t help but be impressed by the recent explosion of large-scale projects. It seems akin to the rapid scale-up of wind in the late 1990s and early 2000s—when megawatt-scale turbines became standard-issue, and the definition of a “large” wind farm changed from a capacity of 20 MW to something more like 200 MW.