US solar project generates power for community-owned electricity suppliers


From pv magazine USA

US-based developer Leeward Renewable Energy has started commercial operations at the Rabbitbrush solar plant in Kern County, California. The 100 MW project is co-located with 20 MW/50 MWh of energy storage capacity, with  415,000 thin-film PV modules and lithium-ion batteries.

It will sell electricity to Central Coast Community Energy and Silicon Valley Clean Energy – two not-for-profit, community-owned electricity suppliers – under 15-year power purchase agreements.

Leeward closed construction financing and tax equity commitments in June 2022 and wrapped up the tax equity funding this October. The funding includes $58.5 million of green loan construction financing and an additional $62.5 million of tax equity commitments.

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Leeward originally acquired the Rabbitbrush project from First Solar, as part of a $261 million deal where the module manufacturer sold Leeward its 10 GW utility-scale solar project platform. 

“Responsible renewable energy development and wildlife conservation go hand in hand, and LRE’s contribution to the very important Swainson’s Hawk Conservation Fund will help hawks in the Antelope Valley of California survive and thrive,” said Garry George, the director of the National Audubon Society’s Clean Energy Initiative.

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