100 MW of desert solar moving from developer to investor


D. E. Shaw Renewable Investments (DESRI) has made it a habit of buying FirstSolar: buying the 40 MW-AC Cuyama Solar Project in Santa Barbara County, CA, the 31 MW-AC Portal Ridge Solar Project in Los Angeles County, CA, and the 11MW-AC Rancho Seco Solar Project in Sacramento County, CA Additionally in late 2017, Shaw signed a deal to accept delivery of 200 MW of Series 6 solar modules from First Solar.

On October 17, First Solar finalized the sale of its 100 MW-AC Willow Springs Solar Project to D.E. Shaw Renewable Investments (DESRI). The facility is located in Kern County, California and will sell its electricity, via a 25-year power purchase agreement, to Southern California Edison Company.

Significant environmental analysis occurred across many publicly available documents (Addendum I (.pdf) and Addendum II (.pdf) to the Kern County Planning and Community Development Department). These multiple hundreds of page document followed the Final Consolidated Environmental impact Report of February 2016, itself a 620 page filing (.pdf).

Neither project costs nor final hardware specifics beyond the use of First Solar’s large-format Series 6 modules were released by either party. Early document filings from 2016 noted a possibility of 2.3 million modules and a 150 MW-DC construction size.

“DESRI is thrilled to close on the acquisition of Willow Springs from First Solar,” said DESRI CEO Bryan Martin, in a release touting the sale. “This project is a testament to the strong partnership that our firms have built over many years. We are looking forward to using First Solar’s leading Series 6 module technology to deliver clean energy to the Kern County community for years to come.”

The project is still currently under construction, with completion expected to come later this year.