New Energy Solar buys majority interest in two SunPower PV plants selling power under PPAs to Stanford and Turlock Irrigation District

Written By: Stratton Report
December 11, 2016

sunpower commercial solar projects

On December 11, SunPower Corp. announced that New Energy Solar, a sustainable investment fund, had acquired a substantial majority interest in two large-scale solar projects that SunPower developed, designed and constructed in Kern County, California. SunPower will retain an minority ownership interest in the projects, which each having a capacity of 67.4 MWs, and provide ongoing operation and maintenance services.

One of the projects, the Stanford Solar Generating Station, will sell Stanford University 100% of its power under a long-term agreement as well as the renewable energy credits (RECs).

The second project, the TID Solar Generating Station, will sell its power and RECs to the Turlock Irrigation District under a similar agreement.

New Energy Solar CEO Tom Kline noted: “We believe the quality of these projects, both in terms of SunPower’s leading technology and their highly creditworthy off-takers make them excellent additions to our portfolio. We are proud to partner with SunPower, one of the most experienced and leading developers and operators of utility-scale solar power.”

According to SunPower, the two projects are expected to generate a five-year average yield of approximately 6.5 percent annually (before New Energy Solar’s impact of borrowing and tax).

Both Stanford University and TID will use the renewable power generated in Kern County to serve electricity demand approximately 300 miles away. Projects like these demonstrate the flexibility with which organizations can now take advantage of cost-effective solar power by using larger capacity off-site solar resources to reliably serve a greater percentage of demand.

Nam Nguyen, SunPower Senior Vice President observed:

“Stanford University and TID are using an innovative model called off-site solar to meet their renewable energy goals and serve their constituencies with cost-competitive emission-free solar power. Off-site solar allows for land-constrained organizations to benefit from the economies of scale achieved with larger solar installations. We congratulate New Energy Solar on their leadership in recognizing the value of this model and thank them for their partnership.”

Construction of both projects commenced in the middle of 2015. Both facilities are expected to achieve commercial operation this month.

There are more than 2.6 gigawatts of SunPower solar power plants operating worldwide.

MVP Capital advised New Energy Solar on the transaction, with Foley & Lardner LLP acting as legal counsel for New Energy Solar.