US ROUND-UP: Amber Infrastructure launches renewables development firm, PPA for 155MWac Colorado project

Distributed Solar Development’s PV project at California’s Lost Hills Oilfield. Image: Distributed Solar Development.

A round-up of the latest news from the US solar market, as Amber Infrastructure Group forms a Michigan-focused renewables development firm and Guzman Energy partners with Primergy Solar on a new Colorado PV project.

Amber Infrastructure launches renewables development firm

27 May 2021: Amber Infrastructure Group has launched Circle Power Renewables, a development company focused on solar, wind and battery projects in Michigan and other US markets.

The infrastructure investment manager said the company’s establishment is an expansion of its existing joint venture with the principals of clean energy firm Circle Power that last year secured development rights for two solar projects at former mining sites in Michigan.

Circle Power Renewables will also explore transmission and storage opportunities in support of Michigan’s carbon reduction targets, which will see the state aim to become carbon neutral by 2050.

Jordan Roberts, CEO of Circle Power Renewables, said the company will continue to invest in Michigan’s energy transformation while selectively expanding into new markets.

PPA signed for 155MWac Hesperus Solar Project in Colorado

25 May 2021: Wholesale power provider Guzman Energy has signed a power purchase agreement (PPA) with developer Primergy Solar for energy from a proposed 155MWac PV project in Colorado.

Sited on 1,500 acres in La Plata County, the Hesperus Solar Project is expected to be operational by the end of 2023. According to Guzman Energy, the deal represents Colorado’s largest solar power purchase by a non-utility customer to date.

“This agreement is an important milestone for our plans to expand our energy supplies to meet customer demand for reliable, affordable, clean energy on the Colorado western slope and in New Mexico,” said Chris Riley, CEO of Guzman Energy.

Primergy earlier this year started construction work on the Gemini PV plant in Nevada, which will have 690MW of solar PV capacity and 380MW / 1400MWh of battery energy storage, with bifacial modules supplied by Maxeon Solar Technologies. Project completion is expected by the end of 2023.  

DSD acquires solar project at California oilfield

27 May 2021: US solar company Distributed Solar Development (DSD) has acquired a 2.176MW PV plant in Kern County, California that will supply energy to an oilfield.

DSD, which last week raised US$85 million in financing to fund the development of its commercial and industrial solar pipeline, bought the project from Alternative Energy Development Group (AEDG), which co-developed it with Regatta Solutions.

The single-axis system is expected to produce more than 4,917MWh of energy per annum, and a 20-year power purchase agreement is in place with Lost Hills Thermal, a special purpose vehicle managed by Crimson Resources Management Corporation, the contracted operator at the oilfield.

Changing economics and technology developments “have made clean, affordable solar energy a priority for operators of all sizes in the oil and gas industry”, said Chris Fraga, CEO at AEDG. “Industry stakeholders are attracted to the cost effectiveness, reliability and scale that solar enables.”

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