Distributed Energy Resources

San Jose Clean Energy signs PPAs for 162 MW of solar power

San Jose Clean Energy has signed two long-term power purchase agreements with developer Terra-Gen for a total of 162 MW of renewable energy.

The California community choice aggregator signed a 15-year power purchase agreement for 100 MW of new solar energy that is expected to come online by the end of 2022 and a 12-year PPA for 62 MW of new, renewable firm energy that will be delivered between 6:00 a.m. and 10:00 p.m. every day from a new 100 MW solar-plus-storage project expected online by the end of 2021.

The 12-year PPA is designed to extend the hours of useful solar energy and avoid the lack of power in the early morning and the fall-off of power in the evening.

The 12-year PPA helps San Jose Clean Energy mitigate the effects of California’s “duck curve” by extending useful solar power into the early morning and the evening when it otherwise is not available or falls off. “It also gives us access to better pricing in the evening because that is generally when higher cost natural gas generation is needed to provide power,” Zach Struyk, deputy director of account management and marketing at San Jose Clean Energy, said.

On the 15-year PPA, San Jose Clean Energy piggybacked on a solicitation issued by East Bay Community Energy. Terra-Gen, the winner of the solicitation, is building a solar project of at least 200 MW in response to the solicitation. Terra-Gen is building the second project in response to a solicitation issued by San Jose Clean Energy. The two separate projects are being built on adjacent sites in Kern County.

“Firm delivery of cost-effective renewable electricity is critical as we transition to a renewable energy future,” Lori Mitchell, director of San Jose’s community energy department, which operates San Jose Clean Energy, said in a statement. “Innovative projects like these save our community money and get us closer to our goal of providing more renewable energy during all hours of the day to ensure reliability.”

San Jose Clean Energy’s goal is to deliver 100% carbon free energy by 2021 and 100% renewable energy by 2050. San Jose Clean Energy’s default power mix, GreenSource, is sourced 45% from renewable energy, 6% more than Pacific Gas and Electric’s standard mix, but at rates 1% lower than PG&E’s, the community aggregator says.

San Jose Clean Energy provides electricity generation service for more than 328,000 residential and business customers in the city, giving it a participation rate of 98.2%.

In August, San Jose Clean Energy signed a long-term PPA with EDP Renewables for 100 MW of new solar energy and 10 MW of battery storage.

The American Public Power Association has initiated a new category of membership for community choice aggregation programs.