Monterey Bay Community Power signs on to new solar agreements

Monterey Bay Community Power’s recent signing of two long-term solar renewable energy project development agreements, in partnership with Silicon Valley Clean Power, has helped the state’s community choice aggregators surpass a significant milestone, even as they deal with the fallout from a California Public Utilities Commission decision on so-called “exit fees.”

The local agency’s power purchase agreements with two solar projects to be built in Kern and Kings counties pushed the state’s community choice aggregators over 2,000 megawatts in long-term contracts with renewable energy facilities, more than double last year’s total.

The contracts, signed Oct. 25, total 278 megawatts of solar power combined with 340-megawatt hours of battery storage for two separate projects, including a 15-year deal with Slate 1 by Recurrent Energy in Kings County and a 20-year deal with BigBeau Solar by EDF Renewables North America in Kern County. The former is the largest utility-scale, solar-plus-storage project to be built in the state.

Combined, the two projects are expected to power 32,000 local customer homes annually and provide 840 temporary jobs during construction with commercial operation set for 2021, according to Monterey Bay Community Power.

“We are excited to bring online the largest California solar-plus-storage by (community choice aggregators) to date,” Monterey Bay Community Power CEO Tom Habashi said. “Solar development has been a hallmark of California’s renewable energy boom and with the storage component we can realize the full potential of solar generation.”

California Community Choice Association executive director Beth Vaughan noted the milestone reflects the strong commitment by the state’s 19 community choice aggregators serving 8 million customers statewide to drive clean energy and economic development in California and help the state achieve “ambitious decarbonization and climate change goals.”

“This is a significant achievement for the (community choice aggregator) movement in California,”: Vaughan said. “It shows (community choice aggregators) are ready, willing and able to sign long-term contracts with renewable energy projects, fueling new sources of clean energy, job creation and revenue for host communities.”

Meanwhile, two of the state’s community choice aggregators, CleanPowerSF and Solana Energy Alliance, filed an application with the CPUC on Monday for a rehearing of the commission’s early October approval of a revised Power Charge Indifference Adjustment or “exit fee,” which charges customers who join community choice aggregators such as Monterey Bay Community Power for costs incurred by their previous investor-owned utility such as PG&E before they left.

Read more here: Monterey Bay Community Power signs on to new solar agreements