San Jose Clean Energy, the city’s new electricity generation service provider, signed a 20-year power purchase agreement (PPA) with EDP Renewables North America for 100 megawatts of solar energy and 10 MW of battery storage.
This is the first agreement for San Jose Clean Energy (SJCE), which started providing more than 328,000 commercial and residential electricity customers with low-carbon power options such as solar, wind, and hydropower in February. The city council governs SJCE and the San Jose Community Energy Department operates it.
“A long-term PPA produces power at a lower price than short-term contracts, so SJCE will see our operational costs decrease,” said Lori Mitchell, Community Energy Department director. “Because SJCE is a government agency, these savings will be reinvested into our community through lower rates and community programs — instead of going to shareholders.
SJCE’s goal is to provide the city with 100% carbon-free power by 2021 and 100% renewable power by 2050. Their default power mix includes 45% renewable energy, which SJCE says is 6% more than PG&E’s standard mix, and has 1% lower rates. More than 1,000 customers have switched to SJCE’s TotalGreen service to receive 100% renewable energy.
The agreement announced on Wednesday is expected to avoid more than 4.1 million tons of greenhouse gas from being emitted, according to San Jose Mayor Sam Liccardo.
Located at Sonrisa Solar Park in Fresno County, California, the solar and storage project should be operational in 2022, according to the city. In June, East Bay Community Energy signed a purchase agreement with EDP Renewables for solar and storage from the park.
“Renewable energy prices have fallen drastically over the last years, to the point that the average total cost to build and operate renewables is often lower than fossil fuels,” said Jeanne Solé, Community Energy’s deputy director of power resources management.