SunPower announced today that it has signed a 20-year power purchase agreement with NV Energy to build a 100-megawatt solar photovoltaic (PV) power plant planned for construction in the Eldorado Valley of Boulder City, Nevada.
"Today, power generated from solar plants is cost-competitive with power from traditional, fossil fuel burning plants – and becoming more cost-competitive every day," said Tom Werner, SunPower CEO and president. "Increasingly, utilities are adding solar to their energy mix to ensure their customers are taking advantage of the reliable and emission-free power of the sun. We are pleased to partner again with NV Energy to enable more Nevada homes and businesses to take advantage of the state's abundant solar resource."
The project, called Boulder Solar, is expected to create approximately 200 jobs during construction, which is anticipated to commence before the end of 2015, with commercial operation planned in 2016. Once it is operational, the project is expected to generate enough electricity to serve the needs of more than 15,000 homes, based on estimates provided by the Solar Energy Industries Association.
SunPower acquired the project from KOMIPO America, Inc. earlier this year. KOMIPO America is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Korea Midland Power Co., Ltd and was the original lead developer for the Boulder Solar project. KOMIPO America will participate in the construction and operation of the project. The power purchase agreement with NV Energy is subject to approval from Nevada's Public Utilities Commission. SunPower expects to offer the Boulder Solar project for sale to 8point3 Energy Partners LP (Nasdaq: CAFD), the YieldCo joint venture formed by SunPower and First Solar.
At the site, SunPower plans to design and build a SunPower® Oasis® Power Plant system. Oasis is SunPower's fully integrated, modular solar power block solution for utility-scale solar projects that is designed to optimize land use and engineered for rapid, cost-effective installation.
According to estimates provided by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, the completed plant can be expected to offset nearly 192,000 tons of carbon dioxide emissions annually, which is the equivalent of removing more than 740,000 cars from Nevada's roads over the next 20 years.
SunPower has two solar power plants under construction currently in Nevada, bringing jobs and economic opportunity to the state. They include a 15-megawatt plant at Nellis Air Force Base and a 19.9-megawatt plant in Lyon County. A 13.2-megawatt SunPower power plant has been operational at Nellis Air Force Base since 2007.
The capacity of power plants described in this release is in approximate megawatts on an alternating current (ac) basis.