CleanPowerSF Signs New Storage Contract at Solar Site to Support Grid Reliability for its 385,000 Customers and the State of California
The battery is expected to be fully operational in time for wildfire season
SAN FRANCISCO – January 20, 2022 – The San Francisco Public Utilities Commission (SFPUC)’s clean energy program, CleanPowerSF, signed a new battery storage contract with a subsidiary of NextEra Energy Resources to support grid reliability for the State and the program’s 385,000 residential and commercial customers. The battery storage project, located in Riverside County, is expected to be fully operational in time for wildfire season.
“As California continues to experience the effects of climate change, enhancing grid reliability and investing further in our clean energy future is a top priority,” SFPUC General Manager Dennis Herrera said. “This is an important step to ensure we continue providing clean, safe, and affordable electricity to our customers when they need it, including after the sun has gone down. This project also improves electric grid reliability not just for our customers, but for the State of California as well.”
The new solar plus storage contract is an amendment of a previously executed Power Purchase Agreement (PPA) with a subsidiary NextEra Energy Resources for the Blythe IV solar project in 2019. Under the revised agreement, the project, which is in Blythe, California, will add batteries to the operating solar photovoltaic power plant that provides 62-megawatts of clean power to CleanPowerSF customers. The contract, including the new battery storage component, is for $220 million over 20 years. Nearly 150 jobs were created during the initial construction phase of the Blythe IV solar project.
The addition of battery storage to the Blythe IV solar facility will provide numerous benefits to CleanPowerSF’s customers, the environment, and the State of California.
CleanPowerSF will be able to optimize the delivery of the solar energy produced by the project to benefit the environment and our customers while also improving reliability of the grid. The project will be able to store solar energy produced in the middle of the day when electricity is now abundant on the grid and discharge that electricity when it is more scarce and costly to produce, such as in the early evening when demand on the grid begins to peak. This will help lessen the grid’s reliance on costlier, dirtier fossil fuels and reduce costs for CleanPowerSF ratepayers.
CleanPowerSF launched in 2016 with a mission to provide San Francisco residents and businesses with clean, renewable electricity at competitive rates. In April 2021, Mayor Breed announced that CleanPowerSF will provide all customers 100 percent renewable electricity by 2025, five years ahead the City’s original goal of 2030 and twenty years ahead of the State’s goal of 2045.
Along with CleanPowerSF, the SFPUC operates Hetch Hetchy Power, which provides 100 percent greenhouse gas-free energy to public facilities such as City Hall, schools and libraries, some private commercial developments, and affordable housing. Collectively, the two programs serve over 70 percent of the electricity consumed in San Francisco.
About the San Francisco Public Utilities Commission
The San Francisco Public Utilities Commission (SFPUC) is a department of the City and County of San Francisco. It delivers drinking water to 2.7 million people in the San Francisco Bay Area, collects and treats wastewater for the City and County of San Francisco, and generates clean power for municipal buildings, residents, and businesses. Our mission is to provide our customers with high quality, efficient and reliable water, power, and sewer services in a manner that values environmental and community interests and sustains the resources entrusted to our care. Learn more at www.sfpuc.org