The City of San José has selected the first phase of Renewable America’s West Tambo Clean Power solar project to provide electricity for San José Clean Energy’s (SJCE) Solar Access program.
The 2.5 MW DC facility in Merced County will provide power over the course of a 15-year power purchase agreement (PPA) with SJCE. The project is expected to come online in April 2023.
“Thanks to San José Clean Energy, local solar power projects such as those under development by Renewable America will directly benefit residents in disadvantaged communities,” says Renewable America CEO, Ardi Arian. “Through the Solar Access program and Renewable America’s collaboration with SJCE, residents can opt into renewable energy even if they cannot put solar panels on a rooftop.”
SJCE launched its Solar Access program in the fall of 2021 to connect these customers with off-site solar energy at a 20% discount on electric generation and delivery charges. Eligible SJCE customers are those that meet certain income qualifications and live in a disadvantaged community designated by the state. These areas are disproportionately impacted by environmental and socioeconomic burdens such as poverty, air pollution or other environmental factors which contribute to asthma.
“SJCE is thrilled that local companies like Renewable America are developing solar energy resources for residents who need it most,” states Lori Mitchell, director of San José’s Community Energy Department, which operates SJCE. “Our transition to a clean energy future can only be considered successful if it includes customers from all socioeconomic backgrounds.”
The Renewable America team is leading project development, financing, construction and ongoing operation of the solar energy facility. This development process focuses on minimizing any environmental damage while producing low-cost renewable energy. For example, the project is planned to include the integration of pollinator-friendly vegetation to benefit the surrounding ecosystem. Furthermore, the project investment is aimed at improving public health, quality of life, and economic opportunity for local residents – including those from disadvantaged communities. At the same time, energy production will offset the need for carbon-based electricity, reducing pollution that causes climate change.
The West Tambo Clean Power project that will serve SJCE is a part of Renewable America’s pipeline of 255 MW of solar energy capacity and 590 MWh of energy storage. The company works closely with multiple Community Choice Aggregators (CCAs) like Marin Clean Energy, Redwood Coast Energy Authority and others across California to provide local, affordable renewable energy.
“We are thrilled to partner with CCAs across California to make clean energy affordable and accessible for their members,” adds Arian. “We applaud the City of San José for their leadership in this sustainable initiative.”