DCR Transmission, LLC is a joint venture led by affiliates of Starwood Energy Group. Copyright ©  2015. All Rights Reserved.

Arizona County Seeks Partner to Develop 1.5 GW of Solar

Power Finance Risk
Feb 17, 2017, By Richard Metcalf

The board of supervisors of an Arizona county has issued a request for proposals for up to 1.5 GW of utility-scale solar projects.

The project or projects would be built on 8,800 acres of land that the La Paz County Board of Supervisors is seeking to acquire from the federal government through a draft federal law sponsored by Republican congressman Paul Gosar.

The county, which has a population of just over 20,000, is not offering bidders a power purchase agreement, but suggests that the project or projects could interconnect to the 3.2 GW Ten West Link transmission, which would provide access to the Arizona and California markets.

The planned 114-mile 500 kV transmission line is being developed by DCR Transmission, a joint venture between Starwood Energy Group Global and Abengoa Transmission & Infrastructure, and would stretch from Tonopah, Ariz., to Blythe, Calif.

In October, DCR Transmission filed an application for a certificate of public convenience and necessity with the California Public Utilities Commission. The transmission project is slated to be online in 2020.

To qualify to bid in the RFP, firms must have developed, permitted, financed and operated utility-scale projects in California, Arizona or Nevada, have successfully negotiated contracts with the California Independent System Operator, have secured power purchase agreements in markets served by the region and have strong balance sheets and positive references from government entities.

The county has already received bids from 15 qualified firms, says Kelly Sarber, president and ceo of environmental consulting firm Strategic Management Group, who is advising the county on the tender. "This is not for the faint of heart," she adds, noting that projects would have to apply for an interconnection with CAISO by April 30. Letters of interest are due by Feb. 24.

The procurement has been of particular interest to developers that already have power purchase agreements but do not yet have projects in place to service them, adds Sarber.