Suntech Power Holdings Co., Ltd. (NYSE: STP), a producer of solar panels, today announced that it has been selected by SunPeak Solar, LLC, a California-based, privately-owned solar energy project developer, to supply 28.7MW (DC) of solar panels for a 23MW (AC) solar power plant in Niland, California.
SunPeak Solar's subsidiary Imperial Valley Solar Company (IVSC) 1, LLC will oversee the project's construction including the installation of about 100,000 units of Suntech's 285/290W Vd-Series modules with advanced SuperPoly silicon processing technology.
The SuperPoly technology produces high-quality silicon ingots and wafers using modified multicrystalline silicon casting equipment that improves module performance by up to 10%. The 72-cell Vd-Series module comes with Suntech's industry-leading 25-year power output warranty - including 0/+5% positive power tolerance - that warrants 6.7% more power than the standard industry warranty. The product meets UL1703, IEC 61215, and IEC 61730 standards.
Constructed on a 123-acre lot located adjacent to the Imperial Irrigation District's (IID) Niland electric substation and natural gas turbine facilities, the solar power plant will generate enough energy to power approximately 14,000 homes within the utility's service area in Imperial County and parts of Riverside and San Diego counties. The project will support IID's plan to comply with California's Renewable Portfolio Standard (RPS) which requires electricity service providers to meet 33% of retail electricity sales with renewable sources by the end of 2020.
The solar power plant will also help IID meet daily peak electricity demands, as last year IID reached its highest peak demand ever of 1,004 MW. The solar project will potentially provide for approximately 2.29% of the utility's peak demand, supplying decades of clean electricity primarily during peak demand hours.
"We're excited to support SunPeak Solar in helping IID meet its RPS goals and satisfy growing peak power demands," said Mick McDaniel, Vice President of the Utility Sales Division for Suntech America. "This well-designed project demonstrates how solar power can efficiently complement existing grid assets, while maximizing value for grid operators and off-takers. Solar electricity serves as an effective hedge against volatile fuel prices and can significantly reduce the aggregate costs of electricity generation."
The North American Development Bank (NADB) will provide a US$77.4 million credit facility to support the project. To date, NADB has helped finance 150 infrastructure projects worth more than US$3.26 billion, benefiting an estimated thirteen million people throughout the U.S.-Mexico border region.
"We are very pleased to participate in this project that will provide a cleaner energy alternative to citizens in Southern California," stated NADB Managing Director Geronimo Gutierrez. "We have been working to build partnerships in the renewable energy sector, with both public entities and private companies and with the signing of this loan, we are opening a new chapter in the evolution of the Bank that will help us move forward in the development of renewable energy projects."