PSEG Solar Puts Down $110 Million to Buy Two Solar-Energy Systems Out West

Tom Johnson | January 21, 2016 | Energy & Environment
When finished, Utah facility will be twice the as large as any of the company’s 14 grid-size solar installations

Diana Drysdale, president of PSEG Solar Source.
PSEG Solar Source is spending close to $110 million to acquire two facilities in California and Utah. The latter, once it’s finished, will be twice as large as any of the other 14 grid-size solar systems in which the company holds an ownership stake

The acquisitions will increase to more than 214 megawatts of capacity the company’s solar portfolio. PSEG Solar Source is a subsidiary of PSEG Power, which is part of the Newark-based Public Service Enterprise Group.

The subsidiary develops, builds, owns, and operates large-scale solar facilities outside the franchise territory of Public Service Electric & Gas, which is also owned by PSEG. It has solar projects in 10 states, including one in New Jersey, the PSEG Mars Hackettstown Solar Garden, a 2.2-megawatt facility adjacent to Mars Snackfood’s U.S. headquarters.

PSEG has invested heavily in promoting solar power, not only from PSEG Solar Source, but also from its regulated utility. Three years ago, PSE&G won approval to spend nearly a half a billion dollars on solar projects, including developing solar farms on landfills and brownfields, former manufacturing sites that were vacant.

None of those projects come anywhere near the size of a proposed 62.7-megawatt solar facility in Millard County, Utah. The project is located on 415 acres about 110 miles south of Salt Lake City. The project has a 20-year power-purchase agreement with PacifiCorp and its commercial operations are expected to start at the end of the year. It is projected to produce enough power to serve about 46,000 homes in Utah.

“We are excited to add such a large-scale solar installation to our fleet and extend our presence in Utah, providing safe, clean, and reliable energy for so many residents,’’ said Diana Drysdale, president of PSEG Solar Source.

The other facility acquired by the company is a 3.9-megawatt solar project under construction by juwi Inc., which is also building the California installation on the grounds of Livermore National Laboratory, about 45 miles east of San Francisco. It is scheduled to go into service in the first quarter of 2016 and also has a power purchase agreement of 20 years.

Besides Utah, California, and New Jersey, PSEG Solar Source has facilities in Maryland, Arizona, Delaware, Florida, Ohio, Texas, and Vermont.