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April 14, 2024

Monterey Bay Community Power announces solar deals

Courtesy of Monterey Bay Community Power:

Monterey Bay Community Power (MBCP) recently signed two long-term solar development agreements, one of which will be the largest utility-scale, solar-plus-storage project ever built in California. With the approval of these two projects, MBCP will be making significant contributions to grid stability for California and to utility-scale storage capacity for California and the Nation.

The Slate 1 project, to be developed in Kings County, CA by Recurrent Energy, will provide 150 megawatts (MW) of solar capacity, plus 45 MW of storage, for a 15-year term. Just south in Kern County, the BigBeau Solar project, developed by EDF Renewables North America, will provide 128 MW of solar capacity with 40 MW of storage as part of a 20-year agreement. The two solar + storage projects combined will power 32,000 MBCP customer homes annually and will provide 840 temporary jobs during construction with commercial operation scheduled for 2021.

“We are excited to bring online the largest California solar-plus-storage project by CCAs to date,” said Tom Habashi, CEO of Monterey Bay Community Power. “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.”

Both projects are the result of a joint-procurement effort between MBCP and Silicon Valley Clean Energy (SVCE), their second such collaboration in less than 3 months. MBCP will be off taking 45% of the energy produced from both Slate 1 and BigBeau, while SVCE will harness the other 55%. The renewable energy produced from these projects will be utilized exclusively by CCAs, many of which are driving the recent rise in buildout of renewable energy infrastructure across the state.

The California Community Choice Association (CalCCA), a trade group that represents the state’s community choice energy agencies, applauded the joint procurement effort noting it represents a significant achievement for the CCA movement in California.

“This landmark purchase of utility-scale solar and energy storage resources shows that CCAs are ready, willing and able to sign long-term contracts with new renewable energy projects in California,” said Beth Vaughan, executive director of CalCCA. “It also reflects the commitment community choice programs have to supporting new sources of clean energy and fueling job creation and economic development.”

As a leader among CCAs driving California’s climate action success, MBCP is also poised to provide its own community with significant benefits.  After just eight months of operation MBCP is projecting to save tri-county a combined $3.5 million in cost savings, contribute to 300,000 metric tons of CO2 emissions spared from the atmosphere, and reinvest an additional $2.5 million in programs designed to help offset the cost of electric vehicles (EV) and EV charging stations for residents, businesses, schools and public agencies. Additional programs to support low-income rate payers are also being evaluated.

According to a May, 2018 U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) report: At the end of 2017, 708 MWs of utility-scale battery storage capacity was in operation in the US. With the approval of these two projects, MBCP will be contributing to a 12% increase in US Storage Capacity

About Monterey Bay Community Power

Monterey Bay Community Power is a Community Choice Energy agency established by local communities to source carbon-free electricity for Monterey, San Benito and Santa Cruz counties while retaining PG&E’s traditional role delivering power and maintaining electric infrastructure. As a locally controlled not-for-profit, MBCP is not taxpayer funded and supports Tri-County economic vitality by providing cleaner energy at a lower cost, supporting low-income rate payers, and funding local renewable energy projects. For more information, visit www.mbcommunitypower.org