On July 18, Oklahoma Gas & Electric Co. (OG&E) and SunPower Corp. announced the signing of their agreement to build a 10-MW solar photovoltaic power plant in Covington, Oklahoma. Construction on the plant is anticipated to commence next month.
Oklahoma’s renewables portfolio has been dominated by its wind capacity. OG&E states that wind facilities put the state in the position of being the fourth-largest wind producer in the U.S. However, with this new utility-scale solar PV capacity, the state’s overall solar capacity will increase significantly.
EIA reported last month a total of 16.1 MW of net summer utility-scale solar PV capacity in service for the state, as of April 2017. At 10 MW, the new PV plant in Covington will be four times the capacity of OG&E’s 2.5-MW Mustang facility, which was the largest utility-scale solar facility in the state at the time.
“The Covington project is a continuation of our successful pilot initiative, which launched with 2.5-MW solar facility in Mustang, Oklahoma, in 2015,” said OG&E COO Keith Mitchell.
SunPower will design and build a SunPower Oasis Power Plant system at the Covington site. The Oasis system is a complete power plant solution that installs quickly to maximize value for customers. Product features include 50 percent fewer parts than conventional solar plant systems, an integrated solar tracker design that streamlines construction and reduces operations and maintenance costs, and cost-effective, high-efficiency SunPower P-Series solar panels that produce more energy than conventional solar panels over the lifetime of the system.
“At the 80-acre site, SunPower Oasis Power Plant technology and SunPower P-Series solar panels will optimize the cost-competitive solar power generated for OG&E customers,” said Tom Werner, SunPower president and CEO. “We commend OG&E for its commitment to including solar in its energy mix and for selecting high-performance SunPower technology to ensure reliable, long-term return on investment.”
SunPower will provide operations and maintenance services once the plant begins commercial operation, which is expected in early 2018.
The Covington solar plant is anticipated to generate enough electricity to serve the needs of more than 1,000 average Oklahoma homes, based on estimates provided by the Solar Energy Industries Association.
OG&E will own the renewable energy credits associated with the system. ♦