San José Clean Energy Unveils New, Innovative Solar and Battery Storage Project with Major Climate Impact
Project’s unique fixed delivery of renewable energy from 6 a.m. to 10 p.m. every day supports grid reliability and reduces reliance on fossil fuels
SAN JOSE, Calif. (February 2, 2022) – San José Clean Energy (SJCE) and developer Terra-Gen are celebrating that SJCE’s first long-term investment in renewable energy – a new solar and battery storage project in Kern County, California – is delivering power as of December 31, 2021 (Video of Kern Solar and Battery Storage Project). The innovative Kern Solar and Battery Storage Project built by Terra-Gen is providing power for SJCE customers in a unique format: fixed delivery of 62 megawatts (MW) of renewable energy between 6:00 a.m. and 10:00 p.m. every day. This will support grid reliability, help reduce reliance on power plants that produce harmful emissions, and improve air quality by providing renewable energy in the late afternoon and evening hours when demand for electricity is high but renewable energy availability is low.
“SJCE’s long-term investment will produce enough clean electricity to power nearly 65,000 homes annually for the next 12 years—the same impact as taking more than 670,000 cars off the road,” said San José Mayor Sam Liccardo. “San José and SJCE continue to lead the fight against climate change by putting steel in the ground to improve our grid reliability.”
Terra-Gen has built more than 115 MW of new solar energy and new battery storage to meet the fixed delivery obligation in its 12-year power purchase agreement (PPA) with SJCE. SJCE contracted with Terra-Gen for a long-term PPA in April 2020, and the project came online on schedule and was built with union labor.
As the city’s Community Choice Aggregator (CCA), SJCE provides electricity generation service for about 350,000 homes and businesses. SJCE offers clean, renewable power options at competitive rates. GreenSource, SJCE’s standard service option, is currently sourced at 60% from renewable energy, up from 45% in 2019.
“SJCE is proud to put new renewable energy onto the California grid through this innovative project and to achieve this milestone less than three years since becoming the local electric generation service provider,” said Lori Mitchell, Director of San José’s Community Energy Department, which operates SJCE. “Our community is at the core of the work that we do, and we’re excited to contribute to healthier air and a more livable planet for the families of today and of tomorrow.”
“Terra-Gen is pleased to reach commercial operation on schedule and help SJCE take an important step toward its long-term procurement goals,” said Jim Pagano, CEO of Terra-Gen. “We enjoy working with CCAs, who are innovating with us to tackle our state’s climate and reliability challenges.”
“The innovative pricing approach of this long-term PPAs will support rate stability for our customers,” said Jeanne Solé, SJCE Deputy Director of Power Resources Management.
Since launching service in February 2019, SJCE has invested $1 billion in nearly 500 MW of renewable resources that will reduce reliance on fossil fuels, improve cost-effectiveness and rate stability, and advance statewide energy reliability goals. In addition to this unique solar agreement, SJCE and Terra-Gen contracted for a 15-year PPA for another 100 MW of new solar. This project is expected to reach commercial operation by the end of 2022 and will also be built in Kern County with union labor.
Increasing the amount of renewable and carbon-free energy powering San José is a key component of Climate Smart San José, the city’s climate action plan. In November, the city pledged to reach net-zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2030. SJCE will play a critical role in reaching this ambitious goal.
CCAs like SJCE are a driving force in California’s clean energy future: in total, 21 CCAs have collectively signed 162 long-term PPAs for nearly 10,000 MW of new solar, wind, biogas, geothermal, and energy storage. CCAs are also driving markets for grid reliability solutions like long-duration storage. California Community Power, a group of ten CCAs (including SJCE) that have joined to procure large scale clean energy and reliability resources, recently announced a 69 MW investment in long-duration storage.
Today at 1:00 p.m., SJCE hosted a virtual press conference to commemorate the milestone. Speakers included Mayor Liccardo and SJCE Director Lori Mitchell. Drone footage, photos, and video of the project are available upon request.
About the City of San José
With more than one million residents, San José is one of the most diverse large cities in the United States and is Northern California’s largest city and the 10th largest city in the nation. San José’s transformation into a global innovation center has resulted in one of the largest concentrations of technology companies and expertise in the world. In 2011, the City adopted Envision San José 2040, a long-term growth plan that sets forth a vision and a comprehensive road map to guide the City’s anticipated growth through the year 2040.
About the Community Energy Department
San José Clean Energy (SJCE) is the local, not-for-profit electricity generation provider for homes and businesses in the City of San José. SJCE is operated by the City’s Community Energy Department and governed by the City Council. SJCE provides 350,000 customer accounts with cleaner energy at competitive rates plus the additional benefits of customer choice, community programs, local control, transparency, and accountability. For more information, please visit www.SanJoseCleanEnergy.org.
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