Distributed Energy Resources

Solar projects now supplying SCPPA and California CCA Marin Clean Energy

EDF Renewables North America on Jan. 29 announced the completion and commercial operation of two solar projects. One of the projects is providing electricity to Marin Clean Energy (MCE) under a 20-year power purchase agreement (PPA), while the second project is supplying energy and renewable attributes to the Southern California Power Authority (SCPPA).

Desert Harvest 1 (114 megawatts dc) is supplying MCE, a California community choice aggregator, while Desert Harvest 2 (100 MW dc) is supplying energy and renewable attributes to SCPPA under a 25-year renewable energy credit (REC) plus index structure contract.

The two Projects are located adjacent to each other on unincorporated land in Riverside County, California, administered by the Federal Bureau of Land Management (BLM). 

The BLM designated this area as a solar energy zone (SEZ) and development focus area, land set aside for utility-scale renewable energy development. Support from local, state, and federal governments was critically important to the success of the project, EDF said.

Both projects consist of horizontal single-axis tracking solar photovoltaic technology. Desert Harvest 2 includes a 35 MW, 4-hour energy storage system. “The coupling of storage and solar demonstrates EDF Renewables’ ability to address specific challenges posed by the California ‘duck curve,’” EDF said.

The duck curve is a chart showing how increased renewables in California lowers load in the middle of the day, corresponding to a duck's belly, and then produces a sharp ramp up, like a duck's neck, in the late afternoon as solar production falls.

“Desert Harvest 2 supplies 100 MW dc of solar capacity to our growing renewable resource mix of geothermal, wind, biomass, small hydro, and solar resources,” Michael Webster, Executive Director of SCPPA, said in a statement. “This project will help our participating SCPPA members meet and exceed renewable energy requirements, while at the same time minimizing costs and maintaining reliability.”

SCPPA is a Joint Powers Authority created in 1980 for the purpose of providing joint planning, financing, construction, and operation of transmission and generation projects.

Comprised of eleven municipal utilities and one irrigation district, SCPPA’s members serve more than five million Californians (2 million customers) across a service area of 7,000 square miles. SCPPA members supply 16% of California’s power.

Additional information about MCE is available here.

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