SMUD signs PPA for its largest solar + storage system with DESRI


D. E. Shaw Renewable Investments (DESRI) and the Sacramento Municipal Utility District (SMUD) have announced the signing of SMUD’s first combined solar and battery energy storage system (BESS) renewable PPA sized at 200 MW AC and 400 MWh.

The project is currently the largest combined solar and BESS generation facility announced in northern California under PPA contract, and will be located on the east side of Sacramento County. SMUD’s customers will have long-term, reliable access to local renewable energy no later than 2024 thanks to the project.

“Our DESRI team is pleased to continue our longstanding partnership with SMUD on the development of this landmark clean power project, especially considering the groundbreaking size and battery storage integration,” said Hy Martin, chief development officer of DESRI.  “This first-of-its-kind project took significant effort by all project partners and shows SMUD’s leadership in its drive towards carbon-free electricity generation in coming years.”

“Partnerships are a key component to SMUD reaching our 2030 Zero Carbon goals,” said Frankie McDermott, SMUD’s chief operating officer.  “We committed to using every tool in the toolbox, and innovative projects like this that combine solar and battery storage will enable us to provide the region with clean and reliable power as we transition away from natural gas resources.”

The project is expected to deliver significant community benefits including creation of an estimated 400 jobs during construction. The agricultural ranch that currently operates on the proposed project site will continue to run in parallel to the energy facility, and the project will incorporate key aspects of environmental sustainability into design and ongoing operations. Affiliates of Bona Terra Energy assisted as co-developers in the project.

As part of the project, the SMUD Clean Energy Community Leaders – Mark Gall Memorial Scholarship will be funded by DESRI.  The scholarship will help cultivate local workforce talent and support students in the greater Sacramento area who demonstrate interest in renewable energy development.  “DESRI is thrilled to support emerging young leaders interested in becoming part of the clean energy economy in and around Sacramento as the renewable energy industry grows in the region, and celebrate the public servants at SMUD for their commitment to renewable energy,” noted Hy Martin.

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