Update: ConEdison Development (CED) has been confirmed as the project buyer. This is CED's first foray into the Western U.S. PV market; the company currently maintains long-term ownership of eleven renewable energy facilities in the Northeast, including a 20 MWsolarjoint venture with Panda Energy in Pilesgrove Township, New Jersey.
GCL Solar Energy, the industry-leading polysilicon manufacturer's project development subsidiary, has sold 92 megawatts (DC) of its U.S. project pipeline to ConEdison Development for $266 million, approximately $2.89 per watt.
The two projects, the 26-megawatt Alpaugh North PV farm and the 66-megawatt Alpaugh 50 PV farm, are currently under development in Tulare County, California. Upon completion later this year, the energy generated will be sold to Pacific Gas & Electric (PG&E) under a 25-year Power Purchase Agreement (PPA). Quanta Power Generation is constructing the single-axis tracking facilities; Emerson Electric is supplying the inverters.
This is not the first time these projects have changed hands; the two farms were originally being developed by Solar Power Solutions (SPS), a special purpose entity of Samsung and ENCO. According to a March 2012 California Public Utilities Commission filing on PG&E's Renewable Portfolio Standard (RPS) progress, GCL took over two additional SPS projects -- the Corcoran and White River installations, both approximately 23 megawatts and expected on-line in 2013.
There has been a marked trend toward downstream forays by PV manufacturers as suppliers struggle to compete amidst persistent oversupply. Earlier this year, GCL reported more than 200 megawatts ready for construction in 2012 and 300 megawatts more planned for the United States and Puerto Rico. Additionally, the company claims to be exploring development activities in Europe, South Africa, and Asia.
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