July 11, 2024

Southern California Edison Secures 525 MWac in Solar Projects Approval

The California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) has approved five power purchase agreements (PPAs) for clean energy initiatives proposed by Southern California Edison. These agreements include three solar power plants with a combined capacity of 525 MWac and two geothermal projects. Fervo Energy highlighted that these geothermal projects mark the largest geothermal PPAs nationwide.

Strategic Push for Renewable Energy Capacity and Emission Reductions

According to the U.S. Energy Information Administration’s Form EIA-860M, one of the solar facilities, part of the Atlas Solar projects, will include energy storage. The three solar projects are projected to have an AC capacity factor slightly above 36%. At the same time, the Fervo Energy geothermal facilities are expected to achieve a significantly higher capacity factor of over 82%.

The CPUC’s approval is part of California’s strategy to meet its mid-term reliability capacity requirements of 3.8 GW by 2036. Both the geothermal and solar-plus-storage projects contribute to these objectives. Additionally, the state aims to reduce emissions to 25 million metric tons of carbon dioxide equivalent (MMT CO2e) by 2035, with plans for 800 MW of geothermal capacity by 2026, 1.1 GW by 2027, and 2 GW by 2033.

174 Power Global Expands Solar Portfolio with Atlas Solar Projects

The Atlas Solar V, VI, and X power plants are under the ownership of 174 Power Global LLC, a subsidiary of the South Korean company Hanwha. Hanwha also owns Qcells, the largest silicon solar module manufacturer in the United States. These solar facilities will deliver electricity through the Atlas Solar Tie Line Project, a 500kV transmission line situated in Salome, Arizona. This line will link the Atlas facilities with the Ten West Link 500 kV transmission line, enabling electricity transmission to Blythe, California.

Solar and Geothermal Developments in Southwest USA

The solar facilities are located within a solar development area overseen by the U.S. Bureau of Land Management and the Arizona State Land Department. Meanwhile, the geothermal facilities in southwest Utah will be developed in two stages: the initial 70 MW phase is projected to commence operations in 2026, followed by the second phase slated for 2028.

Fervo Energy Enhances Efficiency and Affordability in Energy Projects

Western electric utilities' documents suggest that Fervo's power purchase agreements (PPAs) may cost between $0.08 to $0.10 per kWh. Fervo Energy has significantly improved drilling efficiency, with February's operations being 70% quicker and 50% cheaper than in 2022. Their advancements in geothermal technology are driving efficiency and cost-effectiveness in energy production, aligning with the expansion of renewable energy capacities in the Southwest USA.

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