8minutenergy starts building next phase of 100 MW California cluster

Congratulations, Bakersfield, California. You will soon be getting the latest installment of a 100 MW solar project near you.

Solar developer 8minutenergy Renewables has begun construction on its fourth phase of its Redwood solar cluster near the town, the 26 MW Redwood 4 Solar Farm. The project got a boost today as the company closed a financing round that includes debt and tax equity financing.

The project is expected to be completed by the end of the year.

Pacific Gas and Electric Co. (PG&E) will purchase the electricity produced by Redwood 4 and is as a dedicated resource for PG&E’s Solar Choice program. In May, PG&E entered into deals with eight developers, including 8minutenergy, to produce 53 MW of power for Solar Choice, which allows ratepayers to purchase renewable energy (ranging from 50 to 100% of total use) from the utility or 25% to 100% from a regional renewable supplier.

At the time of the May announcement, the utility also said costs to participate in Solar Choice had dropped by nearly one-third for residential customers and by nearly half for some business customers.

In 2016, the Solar Choice program cost $18 per month for an average household participating in the program at the 100% level, while the price has fallen to $13 per month in 2017.

“Our goal is to deliver abundant, affordable solar energy through impeccable execution of utility-scale project development,” said Martin Hermann, CEO and founder of 8minutenergy. “Redwood 4 is delivering on that promise to provide renewable energy to tens of thousands of Californians, and we’re proud to own this beneficial project.”

 

8minutenergy’s completed and commissioned three other projects as part of the Redwood cluster in 2015, which they then sold to sPower. By the end of the year, the entire collection of solar farms will 200 million kilowatt hours (kWh) of electricity, which could more than 20,000 homes.