Construction begins on 100-MW Rabbitbrush Solar Project in Kern County, California


Leeward Renewable Energy, Central Coast Community Energy (CCCE) and Silicon Valley Clean Energy (SVCE), today announced that construction has commenced on the Rabbitbrush Solar project located in Kern County, California. Leeward previously signed two 15-year PPA with CCCE and SVCE.

“Starting construction on the Rabbitbrush facility is a monumental milestone for Leeward and is the first solar project we have constructed since integrating First Solar’s solar development platform in early 2021, with many more ahead,” said Jason Allen, Leeward’s Chief Executive Officer. “We are proud to partner with not-for-profit, community-owned electricity providers SVCE and CCCE to deliver clean, reliable renewable power to their customers and play a key role in advancing California’s zero carbon energy goals.”

McCarthy Building Companies will serve as EPC on the project and has initiated construction for the 100-MW Rabbitbrush facility. The project consists of over 415,000 First Solar thin-film PV modules and includes a 20 MW, 50 MWh battery energy storage system creating resiliency and reliability of the California energy grid.

Kern County stands to benefit from the Rabbitbrush Solar Project, as well as local businesses. A project labor agreement is expected to secure about 300 union jobs during construction, as well as long-term operations jobs. The fully operational Rabbitbrush is expected to generate enough clean solar energy for nearly 40,000 homes per year, displacing approximately 48,000 metric tons of carbon dioxide annually—the equivalent of taking 10,500 cars with internal combustion engines off the road.  

“With our shared commitment to environmental standards as we accelerate California’s clean energy transition, we are excited to partner with Leeward and Silicon Valley Clean Energy on the California Rabbitbrush Solar Project,” shares Tom Habashi, CEO of Central Coast Community Energy. “This solar + storage project reaffirms CCCE’s goal of sourcing renewable energy on behalf of the Central Coast.”

“This project will contribute significantly to displacing greenhouse gas emissions, while providing clean energy jobs to Californians,” said Girish Balachandran, SVCE CEO. “Leeward and SVCE’s vision for this project align closely with our mission of providing communities with affordable, renewable electricity, while also helping to reliably transition to a clean grid.”

The Rabbitbrush Solar Project’s construction is expected to be completed in July 2022. The facility is estimated to begin operation by the end of August 2022.  

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