Renewable America will provide more than 15 MW of solar power coupled with 8 MWh of energy storage to four different community choice aggregators (CCAs) in California. Through five projects in total, the company is enabling the CCAs to make progress toward state-mandated Resource Adequacy (RA) program in light of the California Independent System Operator’s (CAISO) recent marketplace limitations.
All five projects are now fully subscribed and will complete construction by Q3 of 2023 or Q1 of 2024. Once operational, these projects will provide more affordable, locally produced clean energy to 3,300 Northern California households, nearly half of which will be located in disadvantaged communities.
“This community-scale project is on track to be completed in under two years, unlike larger utility-scale projects that can take many years to develop,” said Matthew Marshall, executive director of Redwood Coast Energy Authority. “We are excited to work with Renewable Americas to accelerate progress on our goals for locally sourced distributed energy resources. With the extensive development experience needed to move this type of project forward, Renewable America is a key partner in increasing our community’s access to clean, resilient energy sources.”
Ever since the 2001 California energy crisis, the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) has required that every load serving entity, including CCAs, are able to allocate enough resource capacity for their load to ensure energy resiliency. Every year, the CAISO opens a new window for applications for cluster studies, which are performed to ensure that system reliability and standards for no adverse impact are met.
In March 2021, Cluster Study 14 received an unprecedented three times more applications than in previous years, earning it the nickname “The Super Cluster”. However, as a result of the overwhelming response, the study’s completion has been delayed by over two years, and CAISO is still in the process of finishing it.
Renewable America has developed a unique approach to deliver RA to CCAs, bypassing the traditional cluster study route for new resources connecting to CAISO. By taking on greater development risk, Renewable America provides a solution for the limitation in the Capacity market. Furthermore, Renewable America is managing everything in-house for all five of these new solar and energy storage projects, including scouting new project sites, interconnection, engineering, permitting and PPAs.
Not only will all five of these new projects provide greater energy resiliency for local communities, but two of them are located within disadvantaged communities, ensuring equitable access to clean energy. These projects will not only preserve agricultural land use but will also benefit surrounding land by creating pollinator-friendly habitats within a 5-mile radius. Even after the 35-year project lifetime, the soil quality will continue to improve, ensuring a sustainable and environmentally conscious approach to energy production.
“With the increase of power outages and Public Safety Power Shutoffs in California, distributed generation local solar projects are more essential than ever to ensure energy resiliency while also mitigating climate change,” said Ardi Arian, CEO of Renewable America. “On top of power outage challenges, CCAs are facing unprecedented challenges when it comes to RA.”
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