The East Bay Community Energy (EBCE) board of directors approved two power purchase agreements for a combined 157.5 MW from new wind and solar facilities, as well as 30 MW of battery energy storage. EBCE is a Community Choice Energy provider that serves most of Alameda County and is committed to increasing clean power within its local communities.
The EBCE board approved the following contracts:
- Summit Wind Project: 20-year agreement to purchase 57.5 MW of wind energy from the Altamont Winds LLC project, near Livermore in Alameda County, from San Diego-based Salka LLC (in partnership with a global private equity firm)
- Sonrisa Solar Park: 20-year agreement to purchase 100 MW of solar energy and 30 MW of energy storage from the Sonrisa Solar Park in Fresno County, owned and will be operated by EDP Renewables North America.“More and more, communities want to aggressively address climate change and reducing the use of fossil fuels in our power mix is a big part of that. EBCE is adding new renewable energy generation capacity to the grid that will, in time, serve to phase out our reliance on fossil fuel while also stabilizing our energy costs,” said County Supervisor and EBCE Board Chair, Scott Haggerty.The Summit Wind Project located in Altamont Pass near Livermore is located within EBCE’s territory and reflects the community choice provider’s commitment to invest in local, clean energy resources and deliver local benefits. The project will entail repowering (replacing) a former Altamont Pass wind farm, which consisted of older less efficient wind turbines with ones that are state-of-the-art.
“The environmental and the economic benefits of wind energy have become evident to communities in California and across the country,” said Salka Chief Executive Officer Jiddu Tapia. “With no fuel costs and low operating expenses, wind power helps to reduce electricity costs, giving consumers a better choice for their energy dollar. Clean energy projects like this create local jobs and spur local investment while providing an affordable, dependable way for EBCE to meet its expanding power needs for years to come.”
Completion and operation of the Summit Wind Project is planned for late 2020. The repowering project will replace 569 one-hundred-kilowatt turbines with 23 modern turbines. Once completed, the repowered wind farm will generate more than 60% of its power for Alameda County during peak hours, including the afternoon and high-demand summer months, producing enough clean energy on average to power about 30,000 homes per year.
Construction on the Sonrisa Project will begin as early as December 2021 and be operational in 2022. Both contracts are a result of a competitive solicitation and review process that was initiated in 2018.
The board’s approval of the two power purchase agreements (PPAs) brings the total tally of long-term contracts approved by EBCE this month to four. On June 5, the board approved a contract with Vistra Energy to receive resource adequacy capacity from a 20-MW battery energy storage project that is currently planned to be built as a partial replacement for an aging, fossil fuel-fired power plant located in the heart of Oakland.
All told, EBCE has this month approved contracts totaling 213.5 MW with new California-based renewable energy facilities and 50 MW of energy storage, delivering on its commitment to drive the development of new clean energy resources and green jobs in Alameda County and beyond, and to address climate change by reducing energy-related greenhouse gas emissions.
EBCE initiated service in June 2018 and is one of 19 community choice aggregation (CCA) programs operating in California.
“The agency’s ability to contract for new renewable energy projects so soon after launch is an achievement for the agency and shows the strength of CCA programs throughout the state in furthering and expediting the climate action goals of their communities and those of California,” said Beth Vaughan, executive director of the California Community Choice Association.