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EDF signs PPAs for huge California solar-plus-storage project

EDF’s 49MW West Burton battery project in England. Image: EDF.

Two community energy suppliers in California followed up an agreement to buy power from a large-scale solar-plus-storage farm with another, project developer EDF Renewables has announced. reported at the end of October that Monterey Bay Community Energy (MBCE) and Silicon Valley Clean Energy (SCVE) had agreed 15-year power purchase agreements (PPAs) with Recurrent Energy, the US developer owned by Canadian Solar.

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Through that deal, MBCE and SCVE will buy 45% and 55% respectively of output from Slate, a 150MW solar farm in Kern County, paired with 45MW / 150MWh of lithium battery storage which enables four hours of dispatchable solar energy, helping mitigate late afternoon and evening peaks in demand as solar production tails off.

At around the same time, but not announced by EDF Renewables until a few days ago, the pair also brokered a PPA deal with EDF Renewables, the international clean energy development arm of European utility company EDF, again for a Kern County solar project.

Big Beau Solar + Storage Project is 40MW / 160MWh of battery energy storage and 40MW of solar generation capacity, expected to reach commercial operation by the end of 2021. SVCE and MBCE will once again buy 55% and 45% of the power each in the same split as for the Slate project PPA. 

“The inclusion of storage provides the agencies with a 100% clean and partially dispatchable product, allowing them to mitigate the ‘duck curve’ risk and monetise price spikes,” EDF Renewables product development director for renewables and energy storage Valeri Barros said.

Already a prolific adopter of solar and other distributed energy resources and technologies including electric vehicles (EVs), California now has in place a target to meet 100% of retail electricity sales with renewable sources by 2045.  

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