sPower and the California Department of Water Resources (DWR) announced commencement of commercial operations of the 107 megawatt (MWdc) Solverde 1 solar farm. The project is located in the City of Lancaster, Calif., in northern LA County. sPower installed more than 330,000 solar modules with a peak construction crew of 250 plus workers. The project was developed under an aggressive schedule going from signing the PPA to completing interconnection to building and commissioning the project in just 12 months.
Solverde 1 holds claim to several important attributes. It is the largest solar photovoltaic facility to provide power to the DWR. It is also the biggest solar Contract for Difference (CfD) project in the United States. And it is sPower’s largest individual operating facility in its portfolio.
“In recent years, the California State Water Project has steadily decreased its carbon footprint, and we’re proud to be able to support their needs with reliable, affordable clean energy,” said Jim Howell, sPower SVP of commercial power marketing. “The Contract for Difference structure of the Solverde 1 PPA lets DWR hedge against wholesale price fluctuations by locking in long-term, predictable and competitive power rates.”
Howell said that other customers, like large corporate entities, could also benefit from CfDs. “The power market is evolving rapidly. Commercial companies looking to meet sustainability targets or control energy costs must navigate a highly sophisticated and very complicated landscape. sPower is uniquely qualified to simplify the technical requirements for offtakers – from scheduling coordination with CAISO to innovative CfD structures to managing other market operations – which opens up the U.S. corporate PPA market.”
DWR Director Mark W. Cowin said the project is a major advancement in shrinking the State Water Project’s carbon footprint and cutting emissions that contribute to climate change. “We expect substantial environmental benefits due to this solar project,” said Cowin.