Project Development, Solar, Utility Scale

SunEdison Connects 70-MW Solar PV Plant

The commercial and utility-scale solar services company SunEdison just completed a 70-MW solar PV project in Northeast Italy. The project, which was completed in 9 months, is now the biggest operating PV plant in Europe.

SunEdison’s President, Carlos Domenech, called the project a “new milestone” for speed of mega-project deployment. In October, SunEdison sold the project to infrastructure investor First Reserve for $382 million.

SunEdison has added quite a few MW to its portfolio lately. In the two months, the company has completed multiple systems over 1 MW and signed agreements for projects around the world totaling more than 400 MW.

The last week has seen a number of big solar PV project announcements globally. Here are some of the top stories:

Also in Italy, SunPower signed an agreement to develop two 5-MW projects in the southeast for the independent power producer Etrion. This set of Italian projects comes after Etrion purchased a 33-MW Italian power plant from SunPower earlier this summer.

In India, the Konark Group, a textile company, is looking to build a 5-MW solar PV plant in India. The company announced intentions to build 100 MW of solar PV and wind projects India over the coming years.

In Spain, the California-based company Fidelis Energy, has signed a letter of intent to build a 100 MW project in the country. This project is one of the most unlikely to go through. Spain is looking to reduce feed-in tariffs for ground-mounted systems by another 45%, putting a freeze on development. Only 100 MW have been installed in the country over the last year and a half.

In the U.S., where large-scale development has been steadily growing, the California utility Southern California Edison has signed 20 power purchase agreements with developers for 240 MW of solar PV projects. The contracts include 25 MW of concentrating PV, marking a big step for that slower-growing sector of the solar industry.

And SolarReserve, a company known for its power tower CSP technology, said it was partnering with GCL Solar Energy to build more than 1,100 MW of PV plants around the U.S. The projects would be in the 5-20 MW size range. SolarReserve and GCL said that up to 400 MW could be developed in the next few years.

Below, Julia Hamm, executive director of the Solar Electric Power Association, talks about why utility-scale solar PV and CSP installations are gaining traction in the U.S.