Written by: Leonard Parker | Solar News | 02nd November
Leeward Renewable Energy, Central Coast Community Energy (CCCE) and Silicon Valley Clean Energy (SVCE), have started construction on the Rabbitbrush Solar project located in Kern County, Calif. Leeward previously signed two 15-year power purchase agreements (PPA) with CCCE and SVCE.
McCarthy Building Companies, a national construction company serving as EPC (engineer, procure, contractor) on the solar project, has initiated construction for the 100 MW Rabbitbrush facility, which also includes a 20 MW, 50 MWh battery energy storage system. The project will consist of over 415,000 First Solar thin-film photovoltaic modules.
“Starting construction on the Rabbitbrush facility is a monumental milestone for Leeward and is the first solar project we have constructed since integrating First Solar’s solar development platform in early 2021, with many more ahead,” says Jason Allen, Leeward’s CEO. “We are proud to partner with not-for-profit, community-owned electricity providers SVCE and CCCE to deliver clean, reliable renewable power to their customers and play a key role in advancing California’s zero carbon energy goals.”
Construction on the Rabbitbrush Solar Project is expected to be completed by end of July 2022, and the facility is estimated to begin operation by the end of August 2022.
“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,” shares Tom Habashi, CEO of CCCE. “This solar + storage project reaffirms CCCE’s goal of sourcing renewable energy on behalf of the Central Coast.”
CCCE and SVCE are California Community Choice Aggregators (CCA), procuring clean, renewable electricity and providing decarbonization program funding to 670,000 customers. As a new solar-plus-storage facility, the Rabbitbrush project will help the CCAs achieve their part of a recent order for the state to build at least 11.5 GW of new resources by 2026.
“This project will contribute significantly to displacing greenhouse gas emissions, while providing clean energy jobs to Californians,” states Girish Balachandran, SVCE’s CEO. “Leeward and SVCE’s vision for this project align closely with our mission of providing communities with affordable, renewable electricity, while also helping to reliably transition to a clean grid.”