Southern California utility signs up for 2.7 megawatts of solar to boost grid reliability and avoid air pollution
SunEdison, Inc. the largest global renewable energy development company, recently announced it has signed two 20-year power purchase agreements with utility company Southern California Edison for 2.7 megawatts DC of solar.Southern California Edison is exploring how clean energy resources like wind and solar could defer or eliminate the need to build a new gas power plant in Orange County. The closure of nearby ocean-cooled power plants, including the San Onofre nuclear power plant, has impacted Southern California’s electricity supply, and the utility is eager to find cost effective, clean energy alternatives to support growing demand.
“We know that air quality is a big concern for residents in the area, but so is getting reliable electricity to a growing, economically important region. SunEdison can help,” said Sam Youneszadeh, SunEdison’s regional general manager of its Western U.S. solar business. “Solar is a great way for utilities to boost grid reliability without emitting greenhouse gases. Solar is cost effective, quick-to-build, and can easily scale. It’s great to see Southern California Edison looking after the people it serves.”
With SunEdison’s solar power purchase agreement, the utility will enjoy the benefits of solar energy without any up-front cost. SunEdison installs, owns, and operates each system while the utility enjoys low-cost, clean solar electricity.SunEdison intends to build the systems using a combination of parking canopies and rooftop space. Solar parking canopies provide shade for parked cars while generating cost-effective, clean solar energy.These solar systems further help the utility meet California’s recently passed goal to produce half its electricity from renewables by 2030.
The solar systems are expected to generate enough energy to power 640 California homes per year. The systems should help avoid the emission of more than 50 million pounds of carbon dioxide over 20 years–the equivalent of taking around 5,000 cars off the road.SunEdison intends to complete the solar systems pending approval of the contracts by California’s Public Utility Commission. Operation and maintenance of the solar systems will be performed by SunEdison Services, which provides 24/7 global asset management, monitoring and reporting services.