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Agreement for 100 MW of solar and 10 MW of battery storage in California

Published by
Energy Global,

San José Clean Energy (SJCE) and EDP Renewables SA (EDPR), through its fully owned subsidiary EDP Renewables North America LLC (EDPR NA), have signed a 20-year power purchase agreement (PPA) for 100 MW of new solar energy and 10 MW of battery storage at the Sonrisa Solar Park in Fresno County, California. The project is anticipated to be operational in 2022.

This long-term agreement is the first of many SJCE expects to sign to meet customer demand for renewable energy, which will total 2000 GWh annually by 2022. SJCE serves more than 328 000 residential and business customers and has a high participation rate (98.6%).

“100 MW of solar energy will enable San José Clean Energy to power nearly 36 000 homes each year with clean electricity – the same impact as removing more than 871 000 cars from our city’s roads,” said Mayor Sam Liccardo. “Today’s investment will avoid more than 4.1 million t of greenhouse gases from our air, bringing us another step closer towards meeting the aggressive emission reduction targets defined in our Climate Smart San José plan and securing a sustainable future for our community.”

Operated by the Community Energy Department, SJCE is San José’s Community Choice Aggregator (CCA). Through Community Choice, local governments like the City of San José buy electricity from cleaner sources, while the investor-owned utility (PG&E, for San José) continues to deliver the electricity over their transmission and distribution infrastructure.

“A long-term PPA produces power at a lower price than short-term contracts, so SJCE will see our operational costs decrease,” said Lori Mitchell, Community Energy Department Director. “Because SJCE is a government agency, these savings will be reinvested into our community through lower rates and community programmes – instead of going to shareholders. This agreement is a win for the environment, a win for our ratepayers, and a win for San José.”

The Sonrisa Solar Park will be EDPR’s first North American project to include both solar energy and battery storage. The project will bring economic benefits to the state by way of jobs, landowner and tax payments, and money spent in local communities. With battery storage, solar energy can be generated during the day and distributed during the evening peak hours.

“Energy storage plays an important role in creating a more flexible and reliable grid system, and as storage technology progresses, EDPR will continue to pursue the inclusion of storage at additional projects within our portfolio,” said Miguel Prado, EDP Renewables North America CEO. “EDP Renewables is pleased to contribute to the increasing amount of clean power in California and aid SJCE in meeting its customers’ call for clean, emission-free energy.”

SJCE joins another local CCA East Bay Community Energy (EBCE) in purchasing energy from EDPR’s Sonrisa Solar Park, as announced on June 20, 2019. EDPR’s agreements with SJCE and EBCE will enable 200 MW of solar and 40 MW of storage to be constructed at the project. Collaborating on power purchase agreements creates planning and economic efficiencies. CCAs are driving California’s clean energy future: in total, the CPUC projects that CCAs will contract for more than 10 000 MW of new renewable resources by 2030, compared to 1000 MW pledged by California investor-owned utilities.

The agreement with EDPR reflects SJCE’s financial stability and growing financial resources. SJCE leveraged its US$1 billion buying authority from the San José City Council.

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