SunEdison Inc. announced it has signed a 20-year power purchase agreement (PPA) with the Southern Nevada Water Authority (SNWA). The power purchase agreement enables SNWA to lock in a significant portion of its energy costs at a fixed rate, providing an effective hedge against future increases. As part of the agreement, SunEdison will develop, construct, own and operate a 14-MWac solar photovoltaic (PV) power plant, located in Clark County, Nevada.
“This partnership with SunEdison expands our renewable energy portfolio to about 18 percent of our total power mix, and it provides additional stability to power costs, which ultimately benefits Southern Nevada’s municipal water users,” said John Entsminger, Southern Nevada Water Authority General Manager. “When compared with traditional power production from fossil fuels, this solar facility will also save more than 100 million gallons of water and contribute to the sustainability of our community.”
Water is used in a number of ways in fossil fuel based electricity production, including generating steam to turn turbines, helping to keep power plants cool, and flushing away the fuel residue after fossil fuels are burned. By contrast, solar PV power plants do not use water in the production of electricity.
“This project is a great example of how SunEdison can provide cost effective solar solutions to fit almost any location,” said Bob Powell, President, North America at SunEdison. “This ground-mounted facility will be built around a transmission and pipeline infrastructure that is quite complex – if we can do it here, we can do it anywhere.”
Construction of the facility will begin in early 2015 with commercial operation slated for later that year. Once operational, the solar power plant will be managed by the SunEdison Renewable Operation Center (ROC), which provides global 24/7 asset management, monitoring and reporting services. Data collected from the ROC is used to continuously improve the company’s products, project designs and service offerings.
— Solar Builder magazine