The East Bay Community Energy (EBCE) board of directors has approved two power purchase agreements (PPAs) for a combined 157.5 MW from new wind and solar facilities, along with 30 MW of battery energy storage, to be built in Alameda and Fresno counties in California.
EBCE is a community choice energy provider that serves most of Alameda County, Calif. It is committed to increasing clean power within its local communities. Both new contracts are the result of a competitive solicitation and review process initiated in 2018.
The EBCE board approved the following contracts:
· Summit Wind Project: a 20-year agreement to purchase 57.5 MW of wind from the Altamont Winds LLC project, located near Livermore in Alameda County, from San Diego-based Salka LLC in partnership with a global private equity firm; and
· Sonrisa Solar Park: a 20-year agreement to purchase 100 MW of solar and 30 MW of energy storage from the Sonrisa Solar Park, located in Fresno County and owned/operated by EDP Renewables North America.
“More and more, communities want to aggressively address climate change, and reducing the use of fossil fuels in our power mix is a big part of that. EBCE is adding new renewable energy generation capacity to the grid that will, in time, serve to phase out our reliance on fossil fuel while also stabilizing our energy costs,” says Scott Haggerty, county supervisor and EBCE board chair.
The Summit Wind Project, located in Altamont Pass, is located within EBCE’s territory. Expected to be completed in late 2020, the project will entail repowering a former Altamont Pass wind farm. The repowering project will replace 569 100 kW turbines with 23 modern turbines.
“The environmental and the economic benefits of wind energy have become evident to communities in California and across the country,” says Salka’s CEO, Jiddu Tapia. “With no fuel costs and low operating expenses, wind power helps to reduce electricity costs, giving consumers a better choice for their energy dollar. Clean energy projects like this create local jobs and spur local investment while providing an affordable, dependable way for EBCE to meet its expanding power needs for years to come.”
Construction on the Sonrisa solar project will begin as early as December 2021. It is expected to be operational in 2022.
The board’s approval of the two PPAs brings the total tally of long-term contracts approved by EBCE this month to four. On June 5, the board approved a contract with Vistra Energy to receive resource adequacy capacity from a 20 MW battery energy storage project that will be built as a partial replacement for an aging, fossil fuel-fired power plant in Oakland. The board also gave a green light to a 56 MW solar PPA with Solar Frontier Americas.
As one of 19 community choice aggregation programs operating in California, EBCE initiated service in June 2018.