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NEPSI Successfully Commissions 168 MVAR of Metal-Enclosed Capacitor Banks at MidAmerican Solar’s Solar Star Project

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Friday Oct. 25, 2013

NEPSI, the leading supplier of metal-enclosed capacitor banks, recently completed commissioning on four multi-stage metal-enclosed capacitors banks for SunPower Corp. at MidAmerican Solar’s Solar Star Project (formerly Antelope Valley Solar Project) near Rosamond California.

The 579-megawatt solar installation consists of two co-located solar installations in Kern and Los Angeles Counties in California. When completed, the project will deliver enough electricity to power the equivalent of approximately 400,000 homes helping California achieve its renewable energy goals.

NEPSI’s scope of supply included four prepackaged metal-enclosed capacitor banks with fully integrated protection, control, switching, and disconnecting functions. In total, the four banks will supply 168 MVAR of reactive power in 14 transient-free switchable steps (12 MVAR steps), helping the power plant meet Point of Interconnection (POI) requirements. The controls and protection system were designed and built to operate and communicate with SunPower’s Grid Controller.

According to Peter Steciuk, NEPSI’s vice president, “metal-enclosed capacitor banks are well suited for Solar Power Plant applications where solar heat gain from direct sunlight is an issue. Enclosing the capacitors in a ventilated metal enclosure effectively shades the capacitor, leading to much cooler operation of the capacitor. This reduction in heat equates to higher reliability and longer equipment life”.

NEPSI also supplied and commissioned a 60 MVAR metal-enclosed capacitor bank of similar design and construction last year to SunPower’s 250-megawatt California Valley Solar Ranch in San Luis Obispo County, California.

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