Recurrent Energy, Kaiser partner on solar projects
* Development to generate 15 MW of power capacity
* Recurrent Energy betting on distributed-scale projects
LOS ANGELES, March 30 (Reuters) - Solar power company Recurrent Energy and managed healthcare giant Kaiser Permanente are teaming up to develop 15 megawatts of solar power projects in California, both companies said on Tuesday.
Recurrent Energy will build, own and operate 16 solar power systems across 15 hospitals and offices of Kaiser Permanente, which will buy all the power generated from the project.
The financial terms of the deal were not disclosed, although Citigroup Inc (C.N) was cited as an equity investor on a portion of the projects and a partner in structuring agreements.
"Making rooftop solar work is a question of finding the right types of clients and the right types of buildings," Recurrent Energy's Chief Executive Arno Harris told Reuters.
"And the key thing is that we have here a number of very large, wide-open roofs that are all under one owner," he said.
Privately-held Recurrent Energy, which is backed by Hudson Clean Energy Partners, focuses on small-scale projects of up to 20 megawatts. It has a pipeline of more than 1 gigawatt of projects planned in the United States, Canada and Europe.
Harris said 9 MW, of the project's 15 MW total, should be on line by the end of this year, while the rest is expected to be operational by the summer of 2011.
One megawatt is enough power to supply some 800 average U.S. homes.
Harris is a big proponent of small, or distributed-scale solar projects, which he says are easier to push through the regulatory process and can come on line faster than large-scale developments, which can require extra transmission lines.
"We've demonstrated there are ways to put together distributed-scale projects that can generate a significant amount of power," he said.
Recurrent Energy announced a similar, but smaller, deal in September with warehouse and distribution facilities developer ProLogis (PLD.N) to build 4.8 MW of solar power projects in Spain. (Reporting by Dana Ford; editing by Andre Grenon)
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