Duke Energy acquires 55 MW worth of solar projects from SunPower

Deal involves three solar projects in California

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A Duke Energy (NYSE:DUK) company is buying three solar projects in California, with a total combined capacity of 55 MW, from SunPower (NASDAQ:SPWR).

Duke Energy Renewables said Jan. 10 that the sites include the 20-MW Rio Bravo I, the 20-MW Rio Bravo II, and the 15-MW Wildwood Solar II solar power plants. They are located in Kern County, California, adjacent to two existing solar sites owned by Duke Energy Renewables.

The acquisition was completed in late December, the same month the facilities were placed in service. Edison International (NYSE:EIX) utility Southern California Edison (SCE) is purchasing the power generated by the plants under 20-year agreements.

The Duke news release did not reveal terms of the acquisition. A Duke spokesperson did say that Duke will be the 100% owner and operator of the solar projects.

"These solar projects are excellent facilities that increase our solar presence in California by 50 percent," said Rob Caldwell, president, Duke Energy Renewables and Distributed Energy Technology.

The sites consist of high-efficiency SunPower solar panels, which are used on more than 2,600 MW of solar generation worldwide.

In December 2016, Duke Energy Renewables put four projects in this region into service:

  • the 20-MW (ac) Rio Bravo I project in Kern County, which has Southern California Edison as the power customer;
  • the 20-MW (ac) Rio Bravo II project in Kern County, with Southern California Edison as the customer;
  • the 15-MW (ac) Wildwood II project in Kern County, with the customer being Southern California Edison; and
  • the 20-MW (ac) Longboat project in San Bernardino County, with the customer being Southern California Edison.

SunPower has been undergoing a restructuring program that includes shedding several assets.

Wayne Barber
About the Author

Wayne Barber

Wayne Barber, Chief Analyst for the GenerationHub, has been covering power generation, energy and natural resources issues at national publications for more than 20 years. Prior to joining PennWell he was editor of Generation Markets Week at SNL Financial for nine years. He has also worked as a business journalist at both McGraw-Hill and Financial Times Energy. Wayne also worked as a newspaper reporter for several years. During his career has visited nuclear reactors and coal mines as well as coal and natural gas power plants.

Wayne can be reached at wayneb@pennwell.com.

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