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California community choice aggregators sign PPAs for 150 MW of solar, 180 MWh of storage

Highlights

Project will provide 'landmark' amount of storage

More utility-scale solar for the state's CCAs

Houston — Canada's Recurrent Energy said Tuesday it has signed two 15-year power purchase agreements with two California community choice aggregators, or CCAs, to supply a total of 150 MW of solar power from a utility-scale facility that will be built with 180 MWh of battery storage attached.

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Power will be supplied from Recurrent Energy's Slate photovoltaic-plus-storage project to be built in Kings County, California. The project is scheduled to reach commercial operation in 2021, Recurrent said. Approximately 55% of the power represented in the contracts will go to Silicon Valley Clean Energy, while 45% will go to Monterey Bay Community Power.

"This first-of-its-kind partnership resulted from a joint procurement process that Silicon Valley Clean Energy and Monterey Bay Community Power launched in September 2017 to source cost-effective, renewable power for their respective communities," the CCAs said in a statement.

The Slate project, to be located near the town of Lemoore, will have a 45-MW lithium-ion battery of four hours duration giving it 180 MWh of energy capacity, Recurrent said.

"With the integrated storage component, both CCAs will have the flexibility to fill the battery when wholesale energy prices are low and then discharge the energy when prices are higher to meet their unique load requirements in a cost-competitive manner," said Shawn Qu, chairman and chief executive officer of Canadian Solar, the parent company of Recurrent Energy.

Qu said the project will provide "a landmark amount of energy storage for the state of California as well."

SILICON VALLEY BIGGEST BUYER AMONG CCAS

In the second quarter of 2018, Silicon Valley Energy Authority, based in San Jose, California, bought the most power of any of the 16 active CCAs in California. It bought 1.65 million MWh out of a total of 7.2 million MWh reported sold to the CCAs.

In Q2 2018, Silicon Valley's biggest supplier was Morgan Stanley, which supplied the CCA with 543,042 MWh, or roughly a third of its total, according to data filed with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission..

Monterey Bay Community Power, based in Monterey, California, was the second most active power buyer in Q2. It bought 1.47 million MWh, with The Energy Authority supplying 600,029 MWh of its total.

In Q2, Morgan Stanley and The Energy Authority were ranked second and third among the top suppliers to the CCAs, behind Exelon Generation, which supplied a total of just over 2 million MWh to the CCAs, or roughly 38.4% of the total.

Ranked fourth and fifth among the CCA suppliers in Q2 were Shell Energy North America and Direct Energy Business Marketing.

MORE UTILITY-SCALE SOLAR FOR CCAS

Recurrent said Tuesday it was "the first developer to close financing" for a utility-scale solar project with a CCA off-taker.

In September 2017, Recurrent announced a 15-year PPA with Peninsula Clean Energy for 100 MW of new solar power from its Mustang Two utility-scale solar PV project in Kings County in California's Central Valley that is expected to reach commercial operation in 2019.

PCE, based in Redwood City, has contracted for about 300 MW of solar power from new facilities that are being built to serve its approximately 290,000 San Mateo County customers.

On October 11, PCE announced that ground had been broken on the 200-MW Wright Solar project located in the California Central Valley near the town of Los Banos in Merced County. PCE has "an exclusive" 25-year fixed price agreement to buy all of the Wright Solar output from the facility's owner, Centaurus Renewable Energy.

-- Jeffrey Ryser, jeffrey.ryser@spglobal.com

-- Edited by Annie Siebert, newsdesk@spglobal.com