Leeward Renewable Energy LLC on Wednesday held a ribbon-cutting ceremony for its 100-MW Rabbitbrush solar park in California, which is coupled with a 20-MW/50-MWh battery.
Located in Kern County, the facility will supply its electricity to community-owned electricity providers Central Coast Community Energy (CCCE) and Silicon Valley Clean Energy (SVCE) under two 15-year power purchase agreements (PPAs).
SVCE’s contract is for 40 MW of solar and 8 MW/20 MWh of battery storage, while that of CCCE is for 60 MW of solar and 12 MW/30 MWh of battery storage, the two electricity providers say in a separate statement. The PPA is a result of a Request for Offers that the two agencies issued jointly in 2019.
The project, which uses thin-film First Solar modules, will be capable of serving the needs of almost 40,000 homes per year, the developer said.
Leeward secured funding for the project in June. The renewables outfit is a portfolio company of OMERS Infrastructure. It has more than 2.5 GW of generating capacity across 25 renewable energy facilities in nine states. Leeward also has 1.9 GW contracted and 20 GW under development and construction.
For CCCE, this is the second solar-plus-storage PPA to go live this year. “Coupling solar generation with battery storage allows us to move closer to a decarbonised energy grid and statewide emission-reduction goals,” said its chief operating officer Rob Shaw.
“As SVCE communities shift away from fossil fuels to electrify homes and buildings, new projects like Rabbitbrush that add carbon-free capacity and reliability to the grid are key,” added Monica Padilla, SVCE chief operating officer and director of power resources.
In addition to the project’s economic and job benefits, Leeward will provide USD 150,000 (EUR 144,600) to a fund for the study and conservation of the Swainson’s Hawk in the Antelope Valley.
(USD 1 = EUR 0.964)