8minutenergy & D.E. Shaw put 155 MW-AC solar project online at under $59/MWh

Today 8minutenergy Renewables announced that it has commissioned the 155 MW-AC Springbok 2 solar plant in Kern County, California, working with partners D.E. Shaw and Swinteron Renewable Energy. The project comprises 600,000 multicrystalline silicon PV modules mounted on Array Technologies trackers, located on over 1 square mile of unused farmland 70 miles north of Los Angeles.

Springbok 2 holds a 30-year power contract with the Southern California Public Power Authority on behalf of the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power (LADWP), at a price of $58.65 per megawatt-hour (MWh).

While this is a very inexpensive power purchase agreement (PPA) for the time of signing, GTM Research says that it has found at least two PPAs that are even less expensive during this time period, including one plant that came online in August of this year with a PPA of $42/MWh.

“For projects operating it is low but we have a handful that are lower as well as several set to come online in Q4 that I expect to be sub $50.00/MWh,” GTM Research Solar Analyst Colin Smith told pv magazine.

Since this time prices have since gotten even lower, and GTM Research recently put the going rate for contracts for utility-scale solar projects in the United States at $35-$60 per megawatt-hour.

The Springbok 2 joins the 105 MW-AC Springbok 1 solar plant which 8minutenergy put online earlier this year. Swinteron served as engineering, procurement and construction contractor for the Springbok 2, with D.E. Shaw and 8minutenergy overseeing construction.

D.E. Shaw and its affiliates invested most of the equity in the Springbok 2, and arranged financing from a group of lenders and tax equity investors.