PacifiCorp, an electric utility that serves 1.8 million residential, commercial, and industrial customers, will purchase the electricity through three 20-year power purchase agreements according to its obligation under the federal Public Utilities Regulatory Policies Act. The purchase agreements and the price of the electricity will be at the utility's avoided cost of electricity, which reflects the utility's costs to purchase or generate the power from other resources. The contract will be approved by the Utah Public Service Commission to ensure a fair price for PacifiCorp customers.
"This is a great day for Utah," said Paul Gaynor, Executive Vice President North America Utility and Global Wind at SunEdison. "These solar power plants will create jobs and provide valuable tax revenue to the people of Utah – they are a testament to the contribution solar can make to our energy future. We thank our local partners in Beaver and Iron County for hosting these projects and we look forward to continued development in the state."
The three solar power plants are located in Iron County in southern Utah, and include the 63 megawatt DC Granite Mountain Solar West plant, the 100 megawatt DC Granite Mountain Solar East plant and the 99 megawatt DC Iron Springs Solar plant. Construction of the power plants is expected to begin in the fall of 2015 with commercial operations expected in 2016.
SunEdison has made a major commitment to Utah, with more than 720 megawatts DC of solar energy in development and 306 megawatts AC of wind power operated in-state. SunEdison's other solar projects in Utah include the 22.6 megawatt DC Seven Sisters, the 420 megawatt DC Four Brothers, and 22 megawatts DC of smaller projects. Together, these projects will create more than 800 local construction jobs for the people of Utah.
These projects are on the Call Right Projects List for TerraForm Power, Inc. (Nasdaq: TERP), a global owner and operator of clean energy power plants. SunEdison anticipates offering these projects to TerraForm Power for investment upon completion. Operation and maintenance of the solar power plants will be performed by SunEdison Services, which provides global 24/7 asset management, monitoring and reporting services.