Eighty percent of the largest solar project in California is now in operation

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Developer 8minutenergy Renewables and private asset management firm Capital Dynamics kicked off commercial operation of the 328 MWdc Mount Signal 3 Solar Farm. The project is the largest in the 800 MW Mount Signal solar cluster, which is not only the largest PV project in California, but also among the largest in the world. Mount Signal 3, acquired by Capital Dynamics’ Clean Energy Infrastructure (CEI) business in 2017, commenced construction earlier this year and is being brought to commercial operation ahead of schedule.

8minutenergy was the original developer of all three solar farms in the Mount Signal cluster. With Mount Signal 1 and Mount Signal 3 both now complete, the cluster has approximately 80% of its total final capacity online. Mount Signal 1 and 3 will generate a combined 1.29 billion kilowatt hours (kWh) of clean, renewable power annually for the residents of 15 Southern California counties – enough energy to power over 1 million people during the daytime and reduce carbon emissions by more than 850,000 metric tons each year. Southern California Edison and 8minutenergy signed a long-term power purchase agreement for Mount Signal 3’s energy in 2014.

Mortenson Construction provided the engineering, procurement, and construction (EPC) contracting for the Mount Signal 3 plant. Key suppliers included First Solar with 2.8 million Series 4 thin-film solar panels, NEXTracker with its NX Horizon smart solar tracker, and TMEIC with 96 of their Solar Ware Samurai 2700 Central inverters.

“Mount Signal is a clear demonstration that solar is ready to power California’s 100% clean energy future ahead of schedule,” said Tom Buttgenbach, CEO & President of 8minutenergy. “The Imperial County Board of Supervisors, their staff, our dedicated partners, and the outstanding local workforce were all critical in ensuring that we beat our aggressive timeline in bringing Mount Signal 3 to completion. I’d also like to thank Capital Dynamics and Southern California Edison for being tremendous partners on this project.”

“Capital Dynamics is proud to have the development of Mount Signal 3 completed and now providing hundreds of millions of clean kilowatt hours to the grid. Large-scale solar delivers what California needs, massive amounts of clean energy, reliably, and at a low-cost,” said John Breckenridge, Head of Capital Dynamics’ Clean Energy Infrastructure team. “By completing such a massive PV project ahead of schedule, 8minutenergy has again proven its world-class development and construction management capabilities.”

— Solar Builder magazine

Largest solar project on tribal land being developed by NV Energy, 8minutenergy

8minutenergy solar

NV Energy is developing a 300 MW (420 MW-dc) solar facility on the Moapa River Indian Reservation about 30 miles north of Las Vegas, which will be the largest solar installation to date built on tribal land. It will also be the largest solar PV project ever built for NV Energy, as part of its latest tranche of renewable projects totaling over 1 gigawatt. The Eagle Shadow Mountain Solar Farm will be developed by 8minutenergy Renewables, one of the largest independent solar and storage developer in the U.S.

“We are honored to be working with NV Energy and the Moapa Band of Paiutes to bring this remarkable project to fruition,” said Martin Hermann, CEO and Founder of 8minutenergy. “The Eagle Shadow Mountain Solar Farm will deliver abundant and affordable energy to about 180,000 Nevada homes, providing them with reliable clean power. This will also be the largest standalone project in 8minutenergy’s portfolio, and we are dedicated to upholding our track record of finalizing the plant’s operation on-time and on-budget.”

RELATED: Solar Builder Project of The Year Winner: Moapa Southern Paiute Solar

“We’re proud to be leading the way in supporting the development of clean solar energy on tribal lands,” said Gregory T. Anderson Sr., Chairman of the Moapa Band of Paiutes Tribal Council. “Eagle Shadow Mountain Solar Farm will be special in particular as it’s being built beside a retiring coal plant on our lands, signifying the affordability and importance of renewable energy. We hope to shepherd the way for many other tribes to adopt clean power.”

Eagle Shadow Mountain will be the second solar farm developed on the Moapa River Indian Reservation. The first one was our Project of the Year in 2016. The Moapa Band of Paiutes has become a national clean energy leader and will host in excess of 600 MW of solar on the 72,000-acre reservation. The Eagle Shadow Mountain Solar Farm will be built on non-agricultural land using environmentally sensitive construction.

“We are delighted to be working with 8minutenergy and other top-tier solar developers to bring over one gigawatt of low-cost clean solar power and energy storage to our customers in Nevada,” said Paul Caudill, CEO of NV Energy. “This landmark group of projects will help diversify our state’s electricity generation portfolio at industry-leading costs. We calculate that the direct investment in Nevada’s economy, which includes the cost of construction, will be greater than $2 billion.”

Subject to final approval by the Public Utilities Commission of Nevada, the project will commence construction in mid-2020, and be operational by the end of 2021. Eagle Solar Mountain Solar Farm will have an annual production capacity of over 900 million kilowatt hours (kWh) once complete, enough energy for more than 180,000 homes when producing, and will reduce carbon emissions by more than 600,000 metric tons each year. The project’s development and construction is also expected to create well over 600 jobs in Clark County.

— Solar Builder magazine

Phase three of 800-MW Mount Signal Solar Farm begins, says 8minuteenergy

8minutenergy Renewables, the largest independent solar power developer in the U.S., and global private asset manager Capital Dynamics, announced the acquisition and development of the 328 MW-dc Mount Signal 3 PV project located in the city of Calexico in California’s Imperial Valley. This is the third phase of the 800 MW Mount Signal Solar Farm, which is among the largest PV projects in the world.

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Capital Dynamics acquired Mount Signal 3’s equity interests from 8minutenergy, who will continue to be the project developer. Although terms of the transaction are not being disclosed, Capital Dynamics is currently arranging tax equity and debt financing for the project, with financial closing expected in late July 2017.

Development details

8minutenergy started developing Mount Signal 3 in 2011, and has already completed all procurement and construction contracts. Mortenson Construction was appointed as the engineering, procurement, and construction (EPC) contractor, and will be hiring for 300-400 local construction jobs, starting this year. First Solar was selected as the panel supplier, providing 2.8 million Series 4 thin film panels. In addition, Southern California Edison (SCE) and 8minutenergy signed the long-term power purchase agreement in 2014 to deliver the project’s clean, renewable energy to residents in 15 surrounding counties. 8minutenergy will continue to oversee construction, and is expected to bring the plant to commercial operation by the end of 2018.

“As the original developer of the Mount Signal Solar Farm, we successfully built the 260 MW-dc Mount Signal 1 project, and brought it online in 2013. We are thrilled to bring Mount Signal 3 to fruition, which is the largest in 8minutenergy’s history,” said 8minutenergy CEO and Founder, Martin Hermann. “It’s our mission to deliver abundant and affordable clean energy, and we are certainly doing that with Mount Signal 3. Through our rigorous project development approach, we are going to once again be delivering solar power at cost-competitive rates to fossil fuels.”

 

8minutenergy engaged several advisory firms to close the MS3 transaction, most notably BofA Merrill Lynch as the lead financial advisor, and Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe as legal counsel. Capital Dynamics was represented by Amis, Patel & Brewer, LLP as legal counsel.

— Solar Builder magazine

8minutenergy Renewables is raising capital for its 5.5 GW PV pipeline

8minutenergy solar8minutenergy Renewables, LLC is initiating a capital raising process to fuel growth of its 5.5 GW U.S. pipeline, including over 500 MW of wholly-owned near shovel ready projects with long term power purchase agreements (PPA). 8minutenergy has retained BofA Merrill Lynch as its financial advisor.

The near term projects are expected to have an enterprise value in excess of $1 billion. 8minutenergy develops, engineers, builds, and owns utility-scale solar projects including the world’s largest solar project, as measured by signed PPAs, and since founding has developed over 700 MWs of operational projects.

“8minutenergy has greenfield-developed one of the solar industry’s largest project pipelines, and has a unique position in the market,” said Martin Hermann, 8minutenergy’s CEO and founder. “Since 2009, we have built a highly successful solar development platform, having secured over 1.5 GWs of long-term PPAs across 14 projects, representing $5.5 billion in contracted revenues. As the U.S. solar market continues to grow, driven by the increasing price competitiveness of utility-scale solar, the ITC extension, and various decarbonization policies, we are well positioned to capitalize on our growing pipeline delivering gigawatts of clean energy into the grid.”

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“With over 700 MWs of developed projects in operation, 8minutenergy’s projects have secured in excess of $1 billion in third party investment, generating significant benefits for project stakeholders,” said Tom Buttgenbach, President of 8minutenergy. “Our strategy continues to focus on large utility-scale greenfield development, deploying best-in-class solar solutions providing our customers with the greatest value for their energy needs. As we continue to expand and build upon our proven, levelized cost of energy-centric platform, we are looking for efficient investment capital to fund a variety of interesting development and long term ownership opportunities in the U.S.”

— Solar Builder magazine

Solar developer 8minutenergy Renewables expands into Texas

8minutenergy solar8minutenergy Renewables, an independent solar developer, is formally expanding its operations into Texas. The company recently opened an office in Houston to drive the over 2 GW of utility-scale solar photovoltaic (PV) projects that the company is targeting in Texas. The local team will bring its expertise in developing and acquiring utility-scale solar PV projects to provide value to customers in Texas and other select wholesale markets.

“We captured nearly 15 percent market share in California, which is one of the toughest solar markets in the world. We are excited to replicate our proven model and execution-oriented approach in Texas,” said Martin Hermann, 8minutenergy’s CEO and founder. “We believe in partnership, transparency, and innovation, which are traits that are already proving beneficial in our early stage project development achievements across the Lone Star State.”

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8minutenergy’s track record includes being awarded more than 1,500 megawatts (MW) in Power Purchase Agreements (PPA); building the world’s largest solar PV farm (the 800 MW Mount Signal project in California); and being the first company in the United States to beat fossil fuel prices with solar energy. The company is currently developing over 5,000 MW in its North America project pipeline.

President Tom Buttgenbach credits the company’s process-driven method for its success. “We know how to optimize and design a project from the start, and we manage it all from transmission to operations and maintenance. We believe this approach will resonate in Texas where utilities and corporations are looking for pure-play solar partners that can aggressively compete with alternative forms of energy.”

 

— Solar Builder magazine