Commercial operation begins for one of California’s largest solar + storage projects

Central Coast Community Energy ribbon cutting

The first PPA associated with a new renewable energy project between Central Coast Community Energy (CCCE) and Silicon Valley Clean Energy (SVCE) has reached commercial operation. The Slate solar and energy storage project will provide 390 MW of solar and 561 MWh of storage, making it one of California’s largest integrated solar and energy storage projects. Located in Kings County, CA, the project was developed by Recurrent Energy, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Canadian Solar Inc. A subsidiary of Goldman Sachs Renewable Power (GSRP) is the long-term owner.

The Slate project is supported by PPAs with five California-based organizations: Bay Area Rapid Transit, Central Coast Community Energy, Silicon Valley Clean Energy, Stanford University and the Power and Water Resources Pooling Authority. Slate’s dispatchable solar-plus-storage power is essential to meeting the renewable energy procurement goals of each organization.

The solar-plus-storage project is expected to produce enough electricity to power about 126,000 households annually in California. The project provides a new source of clean, renewable energy to the state and a battery storage system that will help facilitate the transition to a carbon-free power grid.

“Renewable energy projects must be coupled with storage capacity,” said Tom Habashi, CEO of Central Coast Community Energy. “The Slate project is a model because it combines renewable generation with battery storage. This approach is ultimately what will enable us and other energy providers to meet our communities’ power demands at all times of the day without having to rely on fossil fuels. Our board of directors had the foresight in 2018, along with the leadership of SVCE, to understand the importance of investing in this project early to meet our long-term goals. To see it come to fruition today is a remarkable achievement for all involved.”

Project offtaker map

“This is a momentous occasion, nearly five years in the making since SVCE first began serving customers in April 2017,” said Girish Balachandran, Silicon Valley Clean Energy CEO, “This project meets the ambitious carbon-reduction goal set by SVCE to accelerate the building of new renewable and storage assets in order to rapidly advance our regional and statewide decarbonization goals.

The CCCE portion of the project provides the Community Choice Aggregator with 67.5 MW of solar and 33.75 MW/135 MWh of storage annually. SVCE will receive 93 MW of solar and 46.5 MW/186 MWh of storage. The contract term is for 17 years.

The PPA is a result of the request for offers CCCE and SVCE issued jointly in 2017. As a result of joint RFOs, CCCE and SVCE have to date signed 12 joint PPAs, totaling 1,470 MW of clean energy and 356 MW of storage.

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