During the month of June, MidAmerican issued $1 billion in bonds for solar projects in California; PG&E sold $750 million in two tranches; ITC floated bonds totaling $550 million; plus debt issues from Duke, TransCanada, Entergy, and others totaling $4.35 billion.
Pacific Gas & Electric
NRG Energy, through its wholly owned subsidiary NRG Solar, announced that two of the solar photovoltaic (PV) facilities the company acquired from Recurrent Energy earlier this year have reached commercial operation.
Sempra U.S. Gas & Power dedicated the 150-MW first phase of the Mesquite Solar facility, located in Arlington, Ariz., about 40 miles west of Phoenix. Sempra says that when it’s complete, the Mesquite Solar Complex will be North America’s largest PV installation. Construction began in June 2011 Pacific Gas & Electric will purchase the output under a 20-year contract. With Mesquite 1 operating, Sempra U.S. Gas & Power’sportfolio reaches 300 MW.
Duke-American Transmission completed its previously announced purchase from Atlantic Power of 72 percent of the capacity of Path 15—an 84-mile, 500-kV transmission line in central California that connects the state’s northern and southern transmission grids. Pacific Gas & Electric owns 18 percent of the line's capacity through its ownership and operation of the connecting Los Banos and Gates substations. The remaining 10 percent is owned by Western Area Power Administration, which will continue to operate and maintain the line.
NRG Solar started commercial operations for the Alpine solar generating station, a 66-MW (AC) photovoltaic (PV) facility, which NRG says is the largest fully operational solar plant in California. The station’s output will be sold to Pacific Gas & Electric under a 20-year agreement.
Refining the business case for advanced distribution investments.
As utilities plan their capital budgets for the next few years, investments in advanced distribution systems face an uncertain future. Customers question the value—and propriety—of some programs, while long-term strategic goals depend on seamless integration. What will be the path forward for smart grid technology?
Westinghouse Electric names former Progress Energy Executive as president and CEO. FirstEnergy makes numerous executive changes and appointments; Pepco hires new general counsel; plus executive appointments and announcements at AEP, PPL, PG&E, ITC Holdings, Dominion, EPRI, SEIA, and others.
Calpine signs PPA with Public Service Company of Oklahoma; TransCanada and Ontario PowerAuthority agree to develop 900-MW gas-fired power plant; Panda selects Siemens to build combined-cycle plant; Progress Energy retires coal plants dating from 1923; Southern Company and Turner acquire 30-MW PV project; PSO begins smart meter pilot rollout; Southern California Edison contracts with Corix to install smart meters; Iberdrola USA hires Burns and McDonnell to review grid infrastructure. Plus contracts and announcements from Itron, eMeter, Echelon, Quanta Services, DNV, Metadigm, Landis+Gyr, and others.
Exelon sells plants in Maryland and Cali; Mitsui buys into Viridity; Duke issues $1.2B; plus deals at TVA, Xcel, PG&E, etc. totaling $4.9B.
Utilities sound the alarm as PV nears grid parity.
A growing wave of rooftop PV projects is starting to look ominous to some utilities. Will lawmakers accept utilities’ warnings at face value—or will they suspect they’re crying wolf?