New Energy Solar, a Sydney, Australia-based renewable energy company, has broken ground for Mount Signal 2 (MS2), a 200MW solar project in Imperial County, California.
New Energy Solar acquired MS2 from DE Shaw Renewable Investments (DESRI) in March this year. Swinerton Builders has been handed over the responsibility of the plant’s construction and began with the preliminary works in August. The plant construction is expected to be completed in the second half of next year.
Power generated from the solar plant will be supplied to Southern California Edison (SCE), under a 20 year power purchase agreement, starting from June 2020. KeyBank and HSBC have provided debt financing for the project’s construction and Wells Fargo will provide tax equity financing.
The solar plant, which will cover an area of about 1,300 acres is expected to generate enough electricity to be supplied to 69,400 homes. The electricity will offset 247,000 tonnes of CO2 emissions, which is equivalent of removing 53,700 cars off the road. The construction phase will generate nearly 200 local jobs in the Imperial country.
MS2 solar plant will consists of more than 464,000 solar panels mounted on a single-axis tracking system. The tracking system will allow the panels to align with the sun’s position, for optimal power generation, throughout the day.
New Energy Solar CEO John Martin said: “On behalf of our investors, I want to thank everyone who has supported this project over the years and enabled us to be here today. We are proud to be working with high quality partners with such extensive experience in the solar industry.
“MS2 is an example of solar energy becoming part of mainstream infrastructure investments – meeting not just the goals of investors to earn a return, but offsetting carbon emissions, helping utilities to reach their environmental targets, and creating new jobs in rural areas.”
The company stated that MS2 is another step towards California’s decision to generate 100% renewable electricity by 2045.
In March, during the acquisition, New Energy stated that it would fund the acquisition and construction of the facility with an initial equity of about $85m, including $19m deposit paid in February.