After nearly two years of development, planning and preparation, Renewable Properties, a developer and investor of small-scale utility and community solar energy projects throughout the U.S., has begun construction on the Lake Herman Solar Project in Benicia, Calif.
The 5 MW AC (7 MW DC) utility-scale solar energy project located in Solano County is the first to qualify for MCE’s Feed-In Tariff (FIT) Plus program. FIT Plus is an expanded wholesale energy supply program designed to provide competitive and predictable energy prices over 20-year terms for locally developed renewable energy assets.
This is the fourth utility-scale solar project Renewable Properties has developed in partnership with MCE and the community choice provider’s first project to break ground in Solano County. The Lake Herman Solar Project will increase Benicia’s solar output by 64% from 7.8 MW to 12.8 MW and will begin producing locally sourced clean energy when given permission to operate in the spring of 2021.
“MCE is proud to be able to partner with Renewable Properties on our first renewable energy project built in Solano County,” says Dawn Weisz, CEO of MCE. “This project is not only MCE’s first FIT Plus project under construction but also marks the development of new clean energy, local jobs and economic benefits in all four of the counties we serve.”
Using single-axis trackers, the array’s 17,696 bifacial solar photovoltaic (PV) modules and 40 string inverters, will be installed on a 35-acre portion of a larger 88-acre property, leaving the remaining 53 undeveloped acres for continued livestock grazing protected under a deed restriction.
The Lake Herman solar project includes a vegetation management plan that affords the developers an opportunity to incorporate permaculture principles and a pollinator plant meadow.