Peninsula Clean Energy (PCE), a public, locally controlled community choice energy program that provides electricity to San Mateo County, Calif., has inked a 20-year power purchase agreement (PPA) to buy the output from a new 200 MW solar PV plant to be built in Merced County. According to PCE, that is enough solar energy to power over 75,000 average California households.
The Wright Solar Park is being developed by San Mateo-based Frontier Renewables LLC, a project development company focused on utility-scale solar photovoltaic technology. The project will be built specifically to provide renewable energy for PCE customers, and Frontier has already secured an interconnection agreement, land rights, and federal permits for the project, which will set aside conservation land to mitigate for any potential impacts.
PCE’s board of local elected officials unanimously approved the agreement.
“A major goal of Peninsula Clean Energy is to reduce greenhouse-gas emissions by encouraging the development of new renewable energy projects. We are thrilled that the Wright Solar Park project will be built to serve the residents and businesses of San Mateo County,” notes San Mateo County Supervisor and PCE Board Chair Dave Pine.
Construction of Wright Solar Park is expected to begin in late 2017, and the plant will begin generating clean power in late 2018. The Wright Solar Park has a project labor agreement with the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW), Ironworkers and Operating Engineers for the construction of the solar project. It is expected to have a peak construction labor force of 355 workers and create the equivalent of 664 job-years during the construction phase. The Wright Solar Park project is designed to operate for 35+ years and will employ approximately six to 10 full-time positions for maintenance and operations for the duration of the project’s life.
“Frontier Renewables is excited to partner with Peninsula Clean Energy to provide clean renewable energy for San Mateo County, where our company is based,” states Frontier CEO Balduin Hesse. “We’re proud that Wright Solar Park will be a major contributor to the ambitious clean energy goals of PCE and the state of California.”
PCE notes it also approved short-term PPAs for three run-of-river hydropower projects located in Shasta County, including Hatchet Creek, with 7.5 MW of capacity, as well as Roaring Creek and Bidwell Ditch, with 2 MW of capacity each.