Energy Storage

LADWP board OKs PPAs for massive solar plus storage project

The Los Angeles Department of Water and Power (LADWP) Board of Commissioners on Sept.10 unanimously voted to approve power purchase agreements for the Eland Solar and Storage Center.

Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti’s office said the project includes a fixed cost of less than 2 cents per kilowatt hours for solar power, the lowest price offered in U.S. history will be the largest solar and battery energy storage system in the U.S.

Located on 2,650 acres in Kern County, Calif., the project will include two large-scale solar facilities that will capture 400 MW of solar energy and store up to 1,200 megawatt-hours of energy, “all of which can be distributed to meet peak demand, reducing the need for natural gas at night or on cloudy days,” a news release from Garcetti’s office noted.

In addition, the Eland Solar and Storage Center will be the largest solar and battery energy storage system in the United States, Garcetti’s office said.

“The combined solar power and energy storage is priced at 3.3 cents per kilowatt-hour — a record low for this type of contract, city officials and independent experts say, and cheaper than electricity from natural gas,” the Los Angeles Times noted in a Sept. 10 article.

The Eland proposal, which will be built in two phases, was selected out of a pool of 130 proposals because of the project’s scope and competitive price, which includes a fixed cost of less than 2 cents per kWh for solar power, the lowest price offered in U.S. history, according to Garcetti’s office. 8Minutenergy will also cover all costs associated with the development, maintenance, and operation of the facility.

The development of the Eland Solar and Storage Center is expected to play a key role in helping Los Angeles reach 55% renewable energy by 2025, 80% renewable energy by 2036, and 100% renewable energy by 2045.

The unanimous vote from the LADWP Board of Commissioners approves two PPAs with 8Minutenergy to develop the project and begin commercial operation no later than December 31, 2023.

8Minutenergy has finalized and signed a project labor agreement with the local labor unions of Kern County. The project is expected to create 700 jobs over the 14-month construction period and employ 40 long-term operations and maintenance staff when in service.

Currently, LADWP receives 31% of its energy from renewable sources, and the Eland Solar and Storage Center will increase that number by up to 7.1%.

The Eland Solar and Storage Center will be LADWP’s first utility-scale, integrated solar and battery project engineered to provide fully dispatchable power to customers in the evening and night time hours — reducing reliance on natural gas when renewable energy is unavailable.

The joint clean energy investment with Glendale Water and Power, who will receive 12.5% of the total solar and battery storage, will be administered through the Southern California Public Power Authority.

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