California’s Silicon Valley, Monterey OK solar, storage and geothermal contracts

S&P Global

Monterey Bay Community Power and the Silicon Valley Clean Energy Authority are set to execute major geothermal and solar-plus-storage power purchase agreements with Coso Operating Co LLC and First Solar Inc.

The contracts resulted from a joint request for offers the two community choice aggregation agencies issued in April 2019.

Monterey Bay’s operations board on April 8 authorized the agency’s CEO to execute a 15-year power purchase agreement for geothermal energy with Coso for a total cost not to exceed $496 million over the contract period, according to agency spokeswoman Shelly Whitworth and the board’s agenda packet. Coso will provide 11% of Monterey Bay’s load with this baseload resource capable of supplying round-the-clock power, she said.

Coso, a subsidiary of Energy Capital Partners LLC, has been operating four geothermal plants with a combined capacity of 270 MW on land leased at the U.S. Naval Weapons Center in Inyo County since 1987 with “near-perfect reliability,” according to the company’s web site. The Coso geothermal project has been under a long-term contract with Edison International subsidiary Southern California Edison Co. that expired on Jan. 31, 2019, according to the Monterey board’s agenda packet.

That board also authorized the execution of a 15-year power purchase agreement for 60% of First Solar’s Rabbitbrush Solar LLC project, which features 100 MW of photovoltaic panels and 20 MW lithium-ion battery storage, for a total cost not to exceed $97 million, according to Whitworth and the board’s presentation.

Meanwhile, Silicon Valley’s board of directors on April 8 unanimously authorized the execution of a power purchase agreement with Rabbitbrush Solar LLC for 40 MW of solar and 8 MW of battery storage from the Rabbitbrush project, which is under development in Kern County, Calif. The fixed-price contract for Silicon Valley must not exceed $64.32 million over the 15-year contract period starting on June 30, 2022, according to agency documents.

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