A local geothermal company is set to branch out, selling solar power from its Heber-area facility to the Imperial Irrigation District.
Ormat Technologies Inc. announced Wednesday that it has signed a power purchase agreement with IID for 10 megawatts of solar photovoltaic energy, according to a press release from the company. The project, Ormat’s first independent photovoltaic project in the U.S., will be located near the Heber geothermal complex.
Ormat will develop, own and operate the solar project with IID purchasing the power generated under a 20-year agreement. Construction is anticipated to begin this year and commercial operation is expected within 18 months, subject to timely completion of the interconnection.
The project will generate about 24,500 annual megawatt-hours of energy production.
“We are pleased to partner with IID in support of their renewable energy growth plan,” said Yoram Bronicki, president and chief operating officer of Ormat Technologies. “While Ormat’s roots in solar energy go back more than 40 years, we have recently reinitiated our development efforts in solar projects as a way to expand our renewable energy portfolio. Developing projects in a cost-effective way and with an acceptable tariff, without the strong dependence on tax incentives, is vital for us to further expand our solar activity in a meaningful way.
“As the project is being built near the Heber geothermal complex area, it allows for reliance upon a portion of the existing infrastructure, such as the operation facilities,” he continued.
In addition to development in the U.S., Ormat has made progress with a number of solar PV projects outside the U.S., where it expects to move from the regulatory process to the project development stage for an additional 10 to 15 MW of solar PV power generation.