First Solar signs PV-plus-storage PPAs with community choice aggregators


From pv magazine USA

Thin-film solar leader First Solar just signed two 15-year power purchase agreements with community choice aggregators (CCAs) Monterey Bay Community Power and Silicon Valley Clean Energy. Community choice aggregations are U.S. governmental entities that procure electricity on behalf of retail electricity customers within a geographic area.

Monterey Bay Community Power is a CCA sourcing clean electricity for Monterey, San Benito and Santa Cruz counties in addition to San Luis Obispo and Morro Bay. Silicon Valley Clean Energy serves the majority of Santa Clara County, acquiring clean electricity on behalf of more than 270,000 residential and commercial customers. California utilities PG&E and SCE still deliver power and maintain electric infrastructure and billing.

Under the PPAs, the agencies will buy electricity from the Rabbitbrush Solar project developed by America’s First Solar in Kern County, California. The 100 MW solar plant will include 20 MW of battery storage capacity, capable of delivering electricity for 2.5 hours. The project is scheduled for completion in the second quarter of 2022.

The PPAs are the latest to be signed by First Solar with CCAs in California, enabling the delivery of solar electricity to several communities across the state.

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“The fast-growing CCA segment, with its base of environmentally conscious consumers, aligns well with our inherent emphasis on sustainability and our mission to lead the world’s sustainable energy future,” said Georges Antoun, chief commercial officer at First Solar.

A First Solar spokesperson told pv magazine that the company sees “a lot of potential” in the CCA market and mentioned the Little Bear project, which was acquired by Longroad Energy earlier this year, along with a long-term PPA to yet another CCA in California – Marin Clean Energy.

First Solar has 1.9 GW of annualized manufacturing capacity in the United States.

In other CCA news, Clean Power Alliance signed an agreement last week for a 100 MW standalone battery storage project. The 100-MW/400-MWh hour Luna lithium-ion battery storage project is the largest energy storage agreement for a CCA in California and one of the largest in the state. Located in the city of Lancaster, in Los Angeles County, the project will be owned and operated by sPower, an independent power producer. Valued at more than $100 million, the project will create approximately 50 construction jobs.

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