es

El Centro, California, USA

El Centro Solar Park

Status: Completed Construction

Background

The electricity generated by the project will be sold to IID, a federal irrigation district and a community-owned utility. IID is the largest irrigation district in North America by geographic area and provides water and power services to all of Imperial County and portions of Riverside and San Diego Counties. With an energy service area spanning 6,471 square miles, IID currently serves over 148,000 electric customers and manages more than 1,116 MW of power plant capacity. At the close of 2011, IID reported a broad mix of generation assets, including natural gas (47.3%), large hydro (10.7%), coal (29.9%), nuclear (4.6%), and renewables (7.5%). However, the majority of its electricity comes from external power purchases.

California’s Renewable Portfolio Standard (RPS) requires that electric service providers regulated by the California Public Utilities Commission achieve goals of 20% of retails sales from renewables by the end of 2013, 25% by the end of 2016, and the 33% by the end of
2020. IID has established an Integrated Resource Plan to meet the state’s greenhouse gas and renewable mandates by adding renewable sources to its portfolio. In 2009, it took several steps to increase its renewable energy mix, including the approval of power purchase agreements for biomass energy and SunPeak Solar Park, a 23-MWAC solar park in Niland, California, which went online in August 2012. This project is part of IID’s plan to comply with this standard.

Description

The project consists of the construction and operation of a 20 MWAC photovoltaic solar park using polycrystalline photovoltaic modules mounted on single-axis trackers that automatically follow the path of the sun during the day to maximize the solar radiation that the solar panels receive. The solar park will occupy approximately 131 acres of land leased from IID and will interconnect to its grid through an existing transmission line adjacent to the project site. The project will be implemented under an engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) contract. 

Benefits

The project will displace greenhouse gases produced by traditional fossil-fuel based energy generation and thus help improve air quality, while providing residents of Imperial County, California, with a safe, reliable energy alternative. Estimated emission improvements include the displacement of over 13,678 metric tons of carbon dioxide (CO2) and 21 metric tons of nitrogen oxides (NOx). The project is expected to generate sufficient electricity for the equivalent of about 7,500 households.

Project Financing

Total Project Cost Reserved
NADB Funding US 53.54M - NADB Loan
US M - NADB Grant: BEIF
US M - NADB Grant: CAP
US M - NADB Grant: SWEP
US M - NADB Grant: WCIF
Other Funding Partners Market - rate loan