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Nearly 400MW In Works

German Firm Plans 1600Acre Westside Solar Project

Also – First Solar Working On Large Mendota Project

The Central Valley’s westside continues to get new large solar farm applications that include two new projects totaling near 400 megawatts in Fresno County – both in the Westlands Water District.

German Project

Screen Shot 2017-09-17 at 7.04.53 AMOn land leased from the Woolf family, the county is processing an application to build a 1600 acre solar project near the Kings/Fresno county line. A scoping session is planned for Wednesday, September 27, 2017 – 6:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. Keenan Community Center, 17094 Myrtle Street, Huron, CA 93234

German-based EC&R Solar Development, LLC has submitted three CUP Applications (CUP 3562, 3563, and 3564) to allow the construction and operation of a 150 MW solar PV generation facility, a 20 MW solar PV generation facility, and a 20 MW energy storage facility. The parent company is one of the largest investor owned utilities in the world.

The project site, called Fifth Standard Solar Project Complex, is located on 12 parcels totaling 1,593.52 acres, located west of South Lassen Ave, north of West Jayne Ave, east of South Lake Ave, and west of West Gale Ave – about 3 miles south of Huron.

Like many recent applications this project will have a storage component. Storage systems can assist grid operators in more effectively integrating intermittent renewable resources into the statewide grid and can assist utilities in their efforts to meet energy storage goals mandated by the California Public Utilities Commission says their application. A 20 MW energy storage facility, on five acres, with a four-hour discharge duration would be constructed. The storage system would consist of battery or flywheel banks housed in enclosures, as well as buried electrical conduit.

The applicant – E.ON Climate & Renewables (EC&R), headquartered in Essen, Germany, is responsible for E.ON’s large-scale renewable energy activities. E.ON currently operates over 9 GW of renewable capacity including large hydro. Since its formation in 2007, EC&R has invested more than 9 billion Euros, including more than $5 billion in the U.S solar and wind facilities.They own a 20MW project in Southern California.

Little Bear Near Mendota

Screen Shot 2017-09-18 at 7.50.21 AM
The second utility-scale project is the Little Bear Solar Project involving a 180 MW PV electricity generating facilities and associated infrastructure under Fresno County CUPs.

The solar facility would consist of up to five individual facilities with solar PV modules, support structures, electrical inverters, intermediate voltage transformers, an Energy Storage System, and other necessary infrastructure. The project also would involve installation of new and use of existing generation-tie lines to provide power to the grid via PG&E’s Mendota substation.

Last year, the developer of Little Bear – First Solar announced it had pre-sold 40 MW to a large community solar provider,MCE, based in the Bay Area. A not-for-profit, community-based electricity provider, MCE offers its customer base an opportunity source 50 to 100 percent of their energy from renewable sources like solar, wind and hydroelectricity at competitive rates throughout California. MCE also allows its customers to choose which kind of green energy they want, whether it be wind, solar or a combination without the initial high costs of leasing equipment and construction.

The Little Bear project, located on around 1300 acres, is set to break ground in 2019 and should be complete by 2020. After that MCE will have the option to expand – potentially growing to a 160-megawatts in size, they said in 2016. Right next door is the NorthStar solar project.

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