8minutenergy Renewables, LLC and D. E. Shaw Renewable Investments, LLC announced the commissioning of the 155MWAC (191MWDC) Springbok 2 Solar Farm in Kern County, California. Springbok 2 joins the 105MWAC (137MWDC) Springbok 1 Solar Farm, commissioned earlier this year.
Located 70 miles north of Los Angeles, the two new solar farms combined are expected to supply enough clean, renewable energy to serve over 110,000 households in southern California through Southern California Public Power Authority (SCPPA), on behalf of its participating member, the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power (LADWP). 8minutenergy originally developed the Springbok 2 Solar Farm while DESRI and its affiliates invested the majority of the equity in the project and arranged financing from a group of lenders and tax equity investors. Swinerton Renewable Energy served as the EPC contractor, with construction management overseen by 8minutenergy and DESRI.
"The Springbok solar projects are integral to meeting Los Angeles's renewable energy targets of 25 percent by 2016 and 33 percent by 2020. We are pleased to have a project of this size, scope, and importance completed on-budget and ahead of schedule," said Michael Webster, LADWP Executive Director of Power System Engineering and Technical Services.
"At 8minutenergy, our goal is to deliver abundant, affordable renewable energy through impeccable execution of utility-scale solar PV and energy storage," said Martin Hermann, 8minutenergy's CEO and founder. "We are proud that Springbok 2 will deliver clean, renewable energy to tens of thousands of Californians."
"DESRI is thrilled to see its Springbok 1 and Springbok 2 projects reach completion and begin supplying clean power to southern California," said Bryan Martin, CEO of DESRI. "We appreciate the hard work of all of our partners at LADWP, 8minutenergy, and Swinerton, as well as the support of our lenders and investors, in reaching this important milestone. DESRI is committed to the continued growth of our renewable energy portfolio so we can provide more U.S. homes and businesses with clean energy."
Springbok 2 Solar Farm is located on approximately 700 acres of abandoned farmland taken out of production more than 20 years ago. 8minutenergy began developing the project in 2011, creating an estimated 300 direct and 400 indirect jobs during construction in Kern County. The amount of greenhouse gas emissions expected to be avoided each year through operation of the projects is comparable to removing 111,000 cars from the road.
"Projects like Springbok 1 and 2 produce affordable, locally generated electricity while providing significant benefits to the local economy through job creation and collaboration with area businesses," said George Hershman, Senior Vice President and General Manager of Swinerton Renewable Energy. "Construction at Springbok 1 and 2 created over 700 jobs for Kern County and the surrounding area."
"The success of these projects in both providing positive economic impact and delivering clean energy to the region has been made possible by strong working relationships with SCPPA, LADWP, and the local Kern County Planning and Community Development Department as well as local community and environmental organizations for which we are grateful," said Tom Buttgenbach, President of 8minutenergy.