Macquarie acquires 80 MW-AC solar project in Utah

On Monday morning, infrastructure conglomerate Macquarie announced that its MIC Renewable Energy Holding subsidiary (MREH) has signed an agreement to buy the sponsor equity in the 80 MW-AC Utah Red Hills PV project from developer and builder Scatec Solar.

MREH did not disclose terms of the transaction, which is set to close by the end of the year, subject to approval by federal regulators.

This is MREH’s eighth PV project. It is the third U.S. solar project that the company has purchased from Scatec Solar, which has declared that it will quit development activities in the United States. This brings MREH to roughly 350 MW of renewable energy generation, roughly half of which is solar PV.

Utah Red Hills was completed in December 2015, as one of the first large PV projects to come online in the state. The project holds a 20-year power contract with PacifiCorp, a utility subsidiary of Berkshire Hathaway.

Utah installed 129 MW-DC of solar PV in the second quarter of 2016 alone, as the third-largest U.S. market. Many utility-scale projects in Utah have secured contracts through the Public Utilities Regulatory Act of 1978, which mandates that utilities must buy power from independent power producers if the price is below what they would otherwise pay for electricity.

This is a big change for Utah, which was the 8th-largest solar market in 2015 but which had never been anywhere near the top 10 in previous years.