Solar and Storage Will Leverage Former Fossil Fuel Infrastructure; Storage Added to Existing Solar Contract/CPA Now Debt-Free after Paying Back $10 million Start-Up Loan
October 1, 2020
Continuing on a successful year of ramping up storage procurement to increase the reliability of the state’s electricity system, Clean Power Alliance (CPA) advanced a new solar plus storage project and added new storage to an already contracted solar project. The CPA Board of Directors approved the Daggett Solar & Storage project and an amended Arlington Solar project Thursday.
The two projects will add 123 megawatts (MW) of renewable energy capacity and a combined 193.5 MW of battery storage to CPA’s long-term portfolio, generating enough electricity to power 50,000 Southern California homes, with 100% carbon-free energy.
CPA plans to continue its expansion of clean energy and storage supply with additional projects currently under negotiation through CPA’s 2019 Clean Energy Request for Offers. CPA will be releasing its next annual clean energy solicitation later this month.
“We are excited that in 2020 alone, we have signed contracts for 686 MW of much needed new battery storage while continuing to expand the supply of renewable energy,” said Natasha Keefer, Director of Power Planning and Procurement, Clean Power Alliance. “Time is of the essence to build our more resilient future and Clean Power Alliance is stepping up with meaningful commitments that will fight climate change.”
CPA signed a 15-year PPA with Clearway Energy Group to supply 123 MW of solar energy and 61.5 MW/246 megawatt-hours (MWh) of battery storage capacity. The PPA represents a portion of the larger Daggett Solar project, which is located near a former gas plant in San Bernardino County. The project will create approximately 500 construction jobs under a project labor agreement. Operations will begin in March 2023.
“The transition to a clean energy economy is driven by the overwhelming demand for clean, reliable, and low-cost energy,” said Craig Cornelius, CEO of Clearway Energy Group. “We’re proud to help CPA invest in that transition and meet its clean energy goals. Daggett Solar, paired with storage, will provide around-the-clock renewable power, enhance California’s grid reliability, and invest nearly $20 million in local property taxes to fund schools, hospitals, and public services.”
CPA secured an additional 132 MW/528 MWh of storage through expansion of the previously board-approved Arlington 233 MW solar project in Riverside County to be owned and operated by a subsidiary of NextEra Energy Resources, LLC. By combining the 15-year project contracts, CPA will obtain new battery storage at a lower cost than if procuring the project as standalone storage due to investment tax credit benefits. The storage expansion part of the project will add 20 more construction jobs and come online in August 2022.
“We are pleased to continue working with CPA to create innovative energy solutions to meet their customer needs, and to help the state achieve its significant renewable energy goals,” said Matt Handel, Senior Vice President of Development for NextEra Energy Resources.
Enabled by strong fiscal and risk management practices over the past two years, CPA has established itself as one of the largest purchasers of new renewable energy capacity in California and is one of the three largest purchasers of battery storage in the state. In a sign of greater financial strength, Clean Power Alliance announced at the October board meeting that it had fully repaid its $10 million start-up loan provided by the County of Los Angeles.
“Clean Power Alliance is thankful to the County of Los Angeles for investing in its vision of regional sustainability by leading the creation of our agency and providing a start-up loan,” said David McNeil, Chief Financial Officer, Clean Power Alliance. “We are proud to repay the County in full and pleased that Clean Power Alliance is now debt-free and financially self-sustaining from customer revenue.”
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