The Los Angeles Department of Water and Power (LADWP) is to begin construction of its 250MW Beacon Solar project.
The Beacon project is to be built in Kern County, 14 miles north of Mojave, along Highway 14. A ceremony to mark the start of
In June, LADWP confirmed agreements for the construction of the 250MW Beacon solar project, which was divided into five sites.
LADWP issued request for proposal for the 250MW solar power project in March last year.
Four of the utility-scale sites, totalling 200MW, are to be developed through four separate power purchase agreements (PPA).
A competitive bid was held to allocate the segments of 200MW of the Beacon solar project, with LADWP awarding two sites totalling 88MW to SunEdison, and two sites totalling 112MW to Hecate Energy.
Power purchase agreements (PPA) for the 200MW are for 25 years, capped at US$85 per MWh.
Each of the four contracts was awarded under the condition of also developing a smaller scale, separate solar power project in the inner city of Los Angeles.
The small-scale city solar projects will also receive LADWP’s feed-in-tariff.
The remaining fifth segment of the Beacon Solar power project, the 50MW left out of the 250MW utility-scale solar project is not obligated to develop further solar projects in the city under LADWP’s FiT. This separate 50MW contract was awarded to Hecate Energy.
Under the PPAs, LADWP is also to provide all transmission and distribution infrastructure for the Beacon project.
The PPAs with the LADWP for the first 200MW of the Beacon project will then require SunEdison to develop a separate 22MW of small scale inner city solar, and Hecate to build 28MW of small-scale city solar projects in Los Angeles – totalling an extra 50MW of solar development in LA.
A competitive bidding process was held for the 50MW of inner city solar projects, in blocks of 10-14MW, to be built on private property, under 20-year PPA contracts, capped at US$140 per MWh.
This is a “win-win for the businesses and people of Los Angeles who will benefit from solar power development right in the city”, said LADWP board president, Mel Levine.
“These solar projects will help spark economic development and jobs, reduce greenhouse gas emissions from fossil fuel power plants, and meet LA.’s renewable energy mandates.”
The 50MW of the obligated inner city solar installations takes up the last of LA’s FiT limit. LADWP implemented a successful solar FiT of 100MW, which was filled, and then extended it to 150MW.
LADWP purchased the land for the Beacon site for a reported US$31.5m in December 2012 from NextEra Energy.
The 300MW of combined solar will aid LADWP in its aim for 25% of its energy to come from renewables, by 2016, and for a further 33% by 2020.
For the 2020 target, LADWP is hoping 1,200MW will be solar – or 12.2% of the 33% goal.
California's Renewable Portfolio Standard also requires investor owned utilities and municipal utilities to procure 33% of their electricity from renewable sources.