8minute Solar Energy (8minute) announced that the company has executed a power purchase agreement (PPA) with Monterey Bay Community Power Authority (MBCP) and Silicon Valley Clean Energy (SVCE), marking 8minute's first contract with Community Choice Energy (CCE) providers. The 250-megawatt (250 MWdc / 200 MWac) Aratina Solar Center includes 150 megawatt-hours (MWh) of energy storage and will provide enough power for 93,000 homes.
"Community Choice Energy providers across California are taking proactive and ambitious action on behalf of their communities and are playing a critical role in helping the state reach its aggressive clean energy goals," said Dr. Tom Buttgenbach, President and CEO of 8minute. "Our first partnership with Community Choice Energy providers has been a positive experience for 8minute, giving us an opportunity to partner directly with communities to put more affordable, clean energy on the grid. We look forward to continuing to build strong and mutually beneficial partnerships with MBCP, SVCE and other community aggregators as we pioneer a new generation of solar and storage."
Scheduled to come online before the end of 2023, the Aratina Solar Center will offset carbon emissions by approximately 430,000 metric tons each year, the equivalent of planting 7 million trees annually or removing 90,000 cars from the road.
The Aratina Solar Center will serve approximately 7-8% of MBCP's retail load with 120 MWac solar generating capacity, 30 MWac battery energy capacity and a 3-hour discharge duration, while SVCE will be contracting for 80 MWac solar generating capacity and 20 MWac battery energy capacity, with a 3-hour discharge duration, serving 6.6% of SVCE's annual retail load.
"Securing renewable, reliable, affordable energy to power our community and support our clean energy goals is our top priority, and we have been proud to work with the state's largest solar developer to ensure that we meet that goal," said Tom Habashi, Chief Executive Officer of MBCP. "This large-scale, long-term solar project with storage launches us into an even stronger position in doing our part to reduce carbon emissions while meeting our customers' needs."
"Our partnership with 8minute is another success shared with MBCP as we continue to take significant steps to expand California's renewable energy portfolio," said Girish Balachandran, Chief Executive Officer of SVCE. "The Aratina Solar Center, complete with battery storage, will allow us to store and deliver solar power when our customers need it — well into the evening hours — reducing our reliance on carbon-emitting gas plants and moving us ever closer to a decarbonized grid."
The Aratina Solar Center is being built in Kern County, California, where 8minute has been a significant player in accelerating solar and storage development. This marks the company's ninth project in the county, where it has already developed and placed in operation more than 500 MWdc of solar, including the Springbok Solar Cluster and the Redwood Solar Cluster.
The Aratina Solar Center alone is expected to generate hundreds of millions in total capital investment, more than $12 million in local tax revenues, $16 million in land payments over the life of the project and 300 direct construction jobs.
This contract is a result of the Joint Request for Offers (RFO) issued by MBCP and SVCE in April 2019. The Aratina Solar Center will be the seventh project the CCE's have jointly acquired.