Midway II Solar Project Hand Off: “Smoothest in a Very Long Time”
Folsom, CA – Building and successfully commissioning a utility-scale photovoltaic (PV) resource the size of Midway II requires that thousands of elements reach completion at the same time. Construction must be rock solid. Coordination must be precise. Communication crystal clear. Team members must perform at a high level.
So when John Quinonez, a veteran PV power plant manager with First Solar says, “Midway II is one of the smoothest projects that’s been handed off to me in a very long time,” it’s worth a second look.
Midway II is a 30 MW PV power generation resource near Calipatria, California, in the Imperial Valley. Developed by the seasoned team at Solar Frontier Americas, it includes 15 Power Electronic 2330 inverters, a NEXTracker solar tracking system, and capacitor banks to help regulate power characteristics.
Trimark’s T1-S SCADA system provides control for connect/disconnect, curtailment, power factor and automatic voltage regulation, including integrated cap bank operations. Collectively these functions support delivery of stable power at the point of interconnection. The plant SCADA also historizes data for reports, alerts and alarms, and provides secure data integration with First Solar’s fleet-wide maintenance system.
In addition to plant controls, Trimark’s contract included providing, installing, configuring and commissioning revenue metering, switches to connect all intelligent devices to the fiber network, two meteorological stations, and a head-end network package with NERC-CIP security features.
Midway II was brought to COD by Solar Frontier Americas before being sold to Dominion Resources Inc. Blattner Energy was the EPC responsible for managing construction. The resource has a 25-year power purchase agreement (PPA) with the Imperial Irrigation District (IID). First Solar is contracted to operate the site for Dominion.
While every project has its challenges, the things that elevate well-executed projects like Midway II above others is often directly linked to project leadership.
“Blattner did a fantastic job as the EPC,” said Dan Brockhaus, Trimark’s Project Manager. “It’s a privilege to participate on a project where excellence is the standard and true teamwork is the norm.”
A key ingredient in attaining project success is leveraging team resources to overcome inevitable issues and concerns that arise during a project. “Blattner’s leadership style on Midway II was to actively seek resolution by involving the development team,” said Brockhaus. “They didn’t try to insulate themselves when questions came up. Rather, they wanted to understand the challenge, evaluate alternatives, create consensus on resolution, and deploy the best solution for overall project success.”
“When an EPC involves its experts in resolving issues, team members become invested in the outcome. That’s a powerful tool in attaining project success,” said Brockhaus.
Trimark Associates, Inc. (Trimark) is a leading provider of measurement, SCADA, monitoring and communications solutions for critical infrastructure. Trimark develops reliable, affordable revenue-grade metering, monitoring, reporting, and control solutions required for ISO compliance, accurate billing and settlements, and operational optimization. To learn more about Trimark, visit www.TrimarkAssoc.com or call (916) 357-5970.