The Los Angeles Department of Water and Power’s Board of Commissioners this week voted to approve power purchase agreements for close to 600 MW of solar and energy storage from a massive hybrid project in California’s Central Valley.
The 25-year PPA essentially funds construction of the Eland Solar and Storage Center, which LA Mayor Eric Garcetti’s office touted as the largest solar and battery storage system in the U.S. The agreements are still subject to City Council approval.
Located on 2,650 acres in Kern County near Bakersfield, the project will include two large-scale solar facilities that will capture 400 MW of solar energy and store up to 1,200 MWh of energy —with a 100 MW battery–all of which can be distributed to meet peak demand, reducing the need for natural gas at night or on cloudy days, according to the release. The site will hold enough energy to power 283,330 homes across Los Angeles, according to the LADWP release.
The Eland proposal, which will be built in two 200-MW solar 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 the LADWP. Developer 8Minutenergy will also cover all costs associated with the development, maintenance, and operation of the facility.
“The climate crisis has never been more dire, but the solutions have never been clearer or cheaper — and Los Angeles is investing in renewable energy and cleaning our air as part of my DWP reform agenda,” Garcetti said. “The Eland Solar and Storage Center will help us keep the lights on without the help of dirty fossil fuels — even when the sun isn’t shining — and power our progress toward a low-carbon, green-energy future.”
The unanimous decisions from the LADWP commissioners approves two PPAs with 8Minuteenergy to develop the project and begin commercial operation by December 2023. The contact will cost less than $5 per year for each LADWP customer, according to the release.
The joint clean energy investment with Glendale Water and Power, who will receive 12.5 percent of the total solar and battery storage, will be administered through the Southern California Public Power Authority (SCPPA).