Construction starts on 100-MW California solar + storage project

Construction on the Rabbitbrush Solar project in Kern County, California has begun. Leeward Renewable Energy is developing the project and has signed two 15-year energy purchase agreements with Central Coast Community Energy (CCCE) and Silicon Valley Clean Energy (SVCE).

McCarthy Construction Companies provides EPC services for the 100 MW Rabbitbrush facility, which also includes a 20 MW/50 MWh battery energy storage system, enhancing the resiliency and reliability of the California energy network. The project will consist of more than 415,000 First Solar thin-film photovoltaic modules.

“Starting construction on the Rabbitbrush facility is a landmark milestone for Leeward and is the first solar project we have built since the integration of First Solar’s solar development platform in early 2021, with much more to come,” said Jason Allen. , CEO of Leeward. “We are proud to partner with non-profit, community-owned electricity providers SVCE and CCCE to provide their customers with clean, reliable renewable energy and play a key role in advancing California’s zero-carbon energy goals.”

The project is expected to create approximately 300 new union jobs guaranteed under a project employment contract during construction, as well as long-term jobs. When fully operational, Rabbitbrush will generate enough clean solar energy to meet the needs of nearly 40,000 households per year.

“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,” said Tom Habashi, CEO of Central Coast Community Energy. . “This solar + storage project reaffirms CCCE’s goal to source renewable energy on behalf of the Central Coast.”

Construction of the Rabbitbrush Solar Project is expected to be completed by the end of July 2022 and the facility is expected to be commissioned by the end of August 2022.

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

CCCE and SVCE are California Community Choice Aggregators (CCAs), which source clean, renewable electricity and provide 670,000 customers with decarbonization financing programs. As a new solar + storage facility, the Rabbitbrush project will help the CCAs achieve their share of a recent state contract to build at least 11.5 GW of new wells by 2026.

News item from Leeward Renewable Energy

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