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Report provides update on Crescent Dunes solar near Tonopah

Updated March 27, 2019 - 1:34 pm

Crescent Dunes Solar Energy Project near Tonopah reported over $5 million in profits in the fourth quarter of 2018, a drop from $12,290,108 that was reported over the third quarter of the same year, according to the documents.

The report filed by the parent of of the plant, Tonopah Solar Energy LLC with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) showed that the plant has generated $5,162,666 from Oct. 1 through Dec. 31 2018 according to the federal records.

During the fourth quarter, the average price in megawatts per hour at Crescent Dunes was $137.78 with three lines operating. By comparison, the plant had four lines operating in the third quarter, according to reports.

The third quarter which lasted from July 1 through Sept. 30 showed the highest profits for Crescent Dunes in years - $12,290,108, marking a spike from the previous year’s sluggish sales.

In comparison, for the first quarter of 2018 from Jan. 1 through March 31, the Crescent Dunes Solar Energy Project earned only $1,627,146 in sales. In the second quarter of 2018 from April 1 – June 30, it generated $7,948,173 in sales.

The company’s earnings are reported in Electrical Quarterly Reports (EQR), the reporting mechanism that the FERC uses for public utilities to fulfill their responsibility under section 205(c) of the Federal Power Act (FPA) to have their rates and charges on file in a convenient form and place, according to FERC’s website

The EQR contains seller-provided data summarizing contractual terms and conditions in agreements for all jurisdictional services, including cost-based sales, market-based rate sales, and transmission service, as well as transaction information for short-term and long-term market-based power sales and cost-based power sales, according to FERC’s website.

Tonopah Solar Energy LLC is a subsidiary of SolarReserve, a Santa Monica, Calif.-based privately held company that calls itself a leading global developer of utility-scale solar power projects, including electricity generation by solar thermal energy and photovoltaic panels.

SolarReserve previously said that electricity from Crescent Dunes is sold to NV Energy under a 25-year fixed price contract.

Background

Crescent Dunes Solar Energy Project’s earnings were previously down after a small leak in tank filled with molten salt has shut down a $1 billion solar plant outside of Tonopah in October 2016. Prior to the shutdown, the plant generated $11,437,584.52, according to the FERC’s data for the third quarter of 2016.

NV Energy, the sole customer of Crescent Dunes began receiving energy on July 12 2017 for the first time since the facility was shut down for repairs and maintenance in late October 2016.

The Crescent Dunes Solar Energy Project had no energy sales during the first and second quarters of 2017, according to previous federal reports. And in the months following it repair, quarterly sales have been significantly lower than prior to the leak.

The plant generated $4,404,272.35 in energy sales during the third quarter of 2017 and $1,326,254.91 in the fourth quarter of 2017.

The Electric Quarterly Report is the mechanism that the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission uses for public utilities to file their rates and charges on a quarterly basis.

FERC is the U.S. Department of Energy arm that oversees the wholesale of the power and transmission of power plants across the nation.

FERC’s Electric Quarterly Report provides data summarizing the contractual terms and conditions for all of its jurisdictional services. This includes cost-based sales, market-based rate sales and transmission service, as well as transactional information for short and long-term market-based power sales and cost-based power sales.

The fourth quarter runs from Oct. 1 through Dec. 31. The deadline for filing is Jan. 31.

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