8minutenergy Renewables 266 MW Mount Signal Solar Farm Starts Construction
–$636 Million in Financing for Project Closed on by 8minutenergy’s Partner, AES Solar–
Folsom, CA – November 12, 2012 – 8minutenergy Renewables, LLC, a leading independent solar PV developer based in California, today announced that its Mount Signal Solar farm has completed all requirements to begin construction on the 266 megawatts (266MW-dc, 200MW-ac) project located in Imperial County, Calif. Construction began in November with commercial operation scheduled for early 2014. The final hurdle to construction – finalizing $636 million in project financing – was recently closed by 8minutenergy’s joint development partner, AES Solar. Mount Signal Solar will provide its clean, renewable solar PV power to about 65,000 households under a 25-year Power Purchase Agreement with San Diego Gas & Electric (SDG&E).
The Mount Signal Solar power plant is being built on 1,940 acres of low-productivity farmland in Imperial County, Calif. It represents the first of three phases of an approximately 800 MW-dc (600MW-ac) solar PV power project – currently the largest in the world – to be constructed. This first phase of the 800 MW project is the first solar project to be built in the California desert with the support of leading environmental groups such as the Sierra Club, Audubon California, Defenders of Wildlife and the Natural Resources Defense Council.
“We are thrilled to see the initial phase of this eventual 800 megawatt solar project, and the first of our many solar PV projects under development, begin construction,” said Martin Hermann, chief executive officer of 8minutenergy Renewables, which has over 2,000 MW and 15,000 acres of private, disturbed land under development for renewable solar projects in California. “Mount Signal Solar will begin creating jobs next month, with an emphasis on hiring locally, and peak at nearly 1,000 jobs over the construction period. This is good news for the people of Imperial County, which currently has one of the highest unemployment rates in the country.”
“The construction of Mount Signal Solar will share the benefits of the energy boom in the region directly with the people of Imperial County through new jobs and other economic benefits,” said Tom Buttgenbach, president of 8minutenergy Renewables. “We are proud of working closely with key environmental groups to mitigate biological impacts and advance this solar project. We appreciate the role local support has played in developing this project, as well as that of our partner, AES Solar. We look forward to seeing the completion of construction and to the transmission of clean renewable solar power to help SDG&E and the state of California meet its 33 percent RPS mandate.”
“We are pleased to have worked with 8minutenergy and Imperial County to develop and begin construction of this important solar project,” said Bob Hemphill, CEO of AES Solar.
Mount Signal Solar’s annual production capacity of approximately 500 million kilowatt hours (kWhs) of electricity will produce enough renewable solar energy to serve over 65,000 households in SDG&E’s service territory. This clean solar generation plant will displace the equivalent of approximately 356,000 metric tons of carbon dioxide (CO2) per year, which is equal to the amount that roughly 15 million trees would absorb annually. Mount Signal Solar will connect with SDG&E’s Imperial Valley substation, and its renewable solar energy will be transmitted over the utility’s Sunrise Powerlink transmission line. The line was completed earlier this year with a mandate to transport renewable energy from the Imperial Valley to San Diego.
8minutenergy has over 2,000 MW of solar PV power under development in California.
All 8minutenergy solar projects are considered in-state resources and are located on disturbed, low-value farm land. 8minutenergy strives to ensure that its solar power projects provide low cost, clean renewable energy from the sun with low environmental impacts, particularly when compared with public lands projects on pristine desert wildlands.
About AES Solar
AES Solar is a joint venture between The AES Corporation and Riverstone Holdings LLC formed to develop, own and operate utility-scale solar power plants. AES Solar currently has 256 MW in operations in the USA, Italy, Spain, France, Bulgaria, India, and Greece with substantial development activity in the United States and in other countries. For more information, visit www.aes-solar.com.
About 8minutenergy Renewables, LLC
8minutenergy is a California-based company that is passionate about helping California develop its renewable energy industry and is developing more than 2,000 MW of solar PV projects all located on private, disturbed and low-value farm land within California. 8minutenergy’s development team is the largest focused on solar PV in California and the United States. In concert with our partners, 8minutenergy delivers complete solar power plant solutions, including all aspects of development, financing, engineering, construction, operation and maintenance. 8minutenergy’s proprietary transmission, land and economic analysis process and tools helps select optimal power plant sites for accelerated permitting with counties and utilities. 8minutenergy has offices in Folsom, Los Angeles, San Francisco, San Diego and El Centro, California. For more information, please call (916) 608-9060, send email to firstname.lastname@example.org or visit www.8minutenergy.com.