NextEra to add 300MW near-term

NextEra Energy expects to bring 300MW of utility-scale solar into commercial operation this year or in early 2014, part of a US development portfolio of 1.085GW in contracted projects.

The 300MW includes partial commissioning of the 550MWac Desert Sunlight and 250MWac Genesis projects, both located in California, and 20MW Mountain View in Nevada, Moray Dewhurst, vice chairman and chief financial officer, told analysts on a recent conference call.

The company owns 50 percent of Desert Sunlight which will become the largest solar PV plant in the world when fully operational by 2015. General Electric Energy Financial Services and Sumitomo Corporation of America each own 25 percent.

The project is located on land managed by the federal Bureau of Land Management (BLM), part of the US Interior Department.

Genesis consists of two 125MW units that will incorporate parabolic trough solar thermal technology. It is due fully online in 2014.

The development portfolio also includes the 250MWac McCoy PV project in California, 250MWac Silver State South PV project in Nevada, which NextEra announced last month that it will purchase from First Solar, and several smaller California projects.

Dewhurst estimates capital cost to develop Silver State South at $1.1bn. “While there are a number of additional milestones to be achieved before we can consider this transaction complete, this is an important step for our solar portfolio,” he says.