This week, San José’s Community Choice Aggregator (CCA) which is called San José Clean Energy (SJCE) and EDP Renewables SA (EDPR), through its fully owned subsidiary EDP Renewables North America LLC (EDPR NA), signed a 20-year power purchase agreement (PPA) for 100 MW of new solar energy capacity and 10 MW of battery storage at the Sonrisa Solar Park in Fresno County, California. The project is anticipated to be operational in 2022.
The PPA is the first of many SJCE expects to sign to meet customer demand for renewable energy, which will total 2,000 GWh annually by 2022, according to the CCA. SJCE serves more than 328,000 residential and business customers and has a high participation rate (98.6%).
Through Community Choice, local governments like the City of San José buy electricity from cleaner sources, while the investor-owned utility (PG&E, for San José) continues to deliver the electricity over their transmission and distribution infrastructure.
The Sonrisa Solar Park will be EDPR’s first North American project to include both solar energy and battery storage. The project will bring economic benefits to the state by way of jobs, landowner and tax payments, and money spent in local communities, said EDPR.
“Today’s investment will bring us another step closer towards meeting the aggressive emission reduction targets defined in our Climate Smart San José plan and securing a sustainable future for our community,” said Mayor Sam Liccardo
“A long-term PPA produces power at a lower price than short-term contracts, so SJCE will see our operational costs decrease,” said Lori Mitchell, Community Energy Department Director. “Because SJCE is a government agency, these savings will be reinvested into our community through lower rates and community programs – instead of going to shareholders. This agreement is a win for the environment, a win for our ratepayers, and a win for San José.”
“Energy storage plays an important role in creating a more flexible and reliable grid system, and as storage technology progresses, EDPR will continue to pursue the inclusion of storage at additional projects within our portfolio,” said Miguel Prado, EDP Renewables North America CEO.
SJCE joins another local CCA East Bay Community Energy (EBCE) in purchasing energy from EDPR’s Sonrisa Solar Park, as announced on June 20, 2019. EDPR’s agreements with SJCE and EBCE will enable 200 MW of solar and 40 MW of storage to be constructed at the project. Collaborating on power purchase agreements creates planning and economic efficiencies. CCAs are driving California’s clean energy future: in total, the CPUC projects that CCAs will contract for more than 10,000 MW of new renewable resources by 2030, compared to 1,000 MW pledged by California investor-owned utilities.
The agreement with EDPR reflects SJCE’s financial stability and growing financial resources. SJCE leveraged its $1 billion buying authority from the San José City Council.
SJCE’s default power mix GreenSource includes 45% renewable energy – 6% more than PG&E’s standard mix – at 1% lower rates. Customers can upgrade to SJCE TotalGreen service to receive 100% renewable energy. Nearly 1,000 customers have upgraded to TotalGreen.