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Sempra, ConEdison Finalize Partnership on Mesquite and Copper Mountain Solar Farms

Copper Mountain 1

Copper Mountain 1. Courtesy Sempra.Earlier this week, Sempra U.S. Gas & Power and Consolidated Edison Development became equal partners in two of Sempra’s solar projects, totalling 300 megawatts. Now Consolidated Edison will have a 50 percent ownership in the 150-megawatt (MW) Copper Mountain Solar 2 plant near Las Vegas and the 150-MW Mesquite Solar 1 plant near Phoenix, Ariz.

"Copper Mountain Solar 2 and Mesquite Solar 1 are among the largest photovoltaic solar plants in the U.S., and we are pleased to partner with ConEdison Development in the ownership of both these plants," said Kevin Sagara, Vice President of Renewables for Sempra U.S. Gas & Power. "This transaction enables us to improve our financial returns, deconsolidate debt and reinvest the proceeds to more rapidly grow our business."

Now that the joint ventures are complete, both company's own a 50 percent interest in each project. Terms of the agreements were not disclosed.

The joint agreements were originally announced in May of this year, shortly after Sempra commissioned Mesquite Solar 1. The first phase of Copper Mountain Solar 2 is currently generating 92 megawatts of solar power for the grid. When the second phase is completed, which is slated for 2015, it will have 150 megawatts of modules installed. Power from both facilities is being sold to Pacific Gas & Electric under separate power-purchase agreements.

"To succeed in the world of solar development, it is essential to build relationships with the right partners and to invest in the right projects," stated Vice President of ConEdison Development, Mark Noyes. "That is precisely what is happening here. We are delighted to be working together with Sempra U.S. Gas & Power, a company that is highly regarded as one of America's foremost solar developers. These two projects are both first-rate facilities with solid, long-term agreements."

Sempra also owns the 58 megawatt Mesquite 1 array. The company said that the Mesquite site could host up to 700 megawatts of solar, which would make it one of the largest—if not the largest PV site in the world.

Both ConEdison and Sempra Gas & Power are subsidiaries of larger energy companies. Sempra is a subsidiary of Sempra Energy, which owns San Diego Gas & Electric. A representative from Sempra indicated that the company has developed more than 1.5 gigawatts of clean energy generation, including natural gas and wind facilities in the U.S.

ConEdison Development is owned by Consolidated Edison. ConEdison Development typically gets involved with projects in the early to middle stages of development.  The company has owned, operated and marketed more than 2 gigawatts of electric generating facilities.

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