Mayor Garcetti Celebrates Final Approval of Largest Solar and Energy Storage Project in the U.S.

Eric Garcetti
Eric Garcetti

LOS ANGELES — Mayor Eric Garcetti announced on Wednesday, November 6, 2019 a unanimous City Council approval of power purchase agreements for the Eland Solar and Storage Center — the largest solar and battery energy storage system in the United States.

As part of Mayor Garcetti’s Green New Deal, the Eland Solar and Storage Center will help Los Angeles reach 55% renewable energy by 2025, 80% renewable energy by 2036, and 100% renewable energy by 2045.

The Eland Solar and Storage Center will be LADWP’s first utility-scale, integrated solar and battery project engineered to provide fully dispatchable power to customers in the evening and night time hours — reducing reliance on natural gas when renewable energy is unavailable.

Located on 2,650 acres in Kern County, California, the project will include two large-scale solar facilities that will capture 400 megawatts (MW) of solar energy and store up to 1,200 megawatt-hours (MWh) of energy — all of which can be distributed to meet peak demand. The site will hold enough energy to power 283,330 homes across Los Angeles.

The Eland proposal will be built in two phases. It was selected out of a pool of 130 proposals because of the project’s scope and competitive price, which includes a fixed cost of fewer than 2 cents per kilowatt-hour (kWh) for solar power, the lowest price offered in U.S. history. 8minute Solar Energy will cover all costs associated with the development, maintenance, and operation of the facility.

Wednesday’s unanimous vote from the City Council approves two power purchase agreements with 8minute Solar Energy to develop the project and begin commercial operation no later than December 31, 2023. The contract will cost less than $5 per year for each LADWP customer.

8minute Solar Energy has finalized and signed a project labor agreement with local labor unions in Kern County to ensure the project will provide good-paying, green jobs for Southern California workers. The project is expected to create 700 jobs over the 14-month construction period and employ 40 long-term operations and maintenance staff when in service.

Currently, LADWP receives 32% of its energy from renewable sources, and the Eland Solar and Storage Center will increase that number by up to 7.1%. That would enable the City to prevent up to 727,360 metric tons of greenhouse gas emissions from a conventional fossil fuel power plant — the equivalent of taking 148,700 cars off the road for a year.

The joint clean energy investment with Glendale Water and Power, which will receive 12.5% of the total solar and battery storage, will be administered through the Southern California Public Power Authority (SCPPA).

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