sPower, city of Palo Alto light up 60 MW of California solar projects

sPower and the City of Palo Alto Utilities (CPAU) in California on Dec. 21 announced that two new large-scale solar farms have begun commercial operation.

The facilities, developed, owned and operated by sPower, are the 40-MW Elevation Solar C and the 20-MW Western Antelope Blue Sky Ranch B solar farms located in Lancaster, California. CPAU is purchasing all 60 MW of solar energy produced at the facilities under 25-year power purchase agreements (PPAs).

“The City is committed to delivering reliable, affordable and environmentally friendly power,” said Ed Shikada, assistant city manager and general manager of Utilities. “Adding these solar projects to our diverse electric supply portfolio is in line with our sustainability values and helps us move closer to the ultimate goal of 100 percent carbon free electricity. I am also proud to say that through these long-term contracts, we continue to put our customers’ best financial interests first, as the rates we are paying for the energy are some of the lowest we have ever seen.”

The City of Palo Alto’s electricity supply has been 100% carbon neutral since 2013 and yet the city’s utility rates have remained competitive with surrounding areas.

“We are pleased to be able to support the City of Palo Alto’s goal of giving customers economical rates while adding to its carbon-neutral electric resources. The City has been an outstanding organization to work with,” said Hans Isern, SVP of utility power marketing. “While we are always happy to connect new projects to the grid, we are especially proud of the fact that Elevation Solar C is sPower’s largest organic, self-generated PPA to date.”

These latest solar facilities represent a significant portion of the nearly 500 MW of new renewable projects that sPower will bring online in the last quarter of the year, expanding its portfolio to more than a gigawatt of operating projects. Already, sPower said it is the largest private owner of operating solar assets in the United States.

Headquartered in Salt Lake City, with offices in San Francisco, Long Beach and New York City, sPower is a leading independent power producer (IPP) that owns and operates more than 150 utility and commercial distributed electrical generation systems across the U.S. and the United Kingdom. With 7 GW between operating, construction and pipeline, sPower is actively buying select utility-scale renewable assets in virtually any stage of development in the United States.

The City of Palo Alto is the only municipality in California operating a full suite of utility services, including water, wastewater, electric and fiber optics, natural gas, refuse and storm drain services.

About Barry Cassell 20414 Articles
Barry Cassell is Chief Analyst for GenerationHub covering coal and emission controls issues, projects and policy. He has covered the coal and power generation industry for more than 24 years, beginning in November 2011 at GenerationHub and prior to that as editor of SNL Energy’s Coal Report. He was formerly with Coal Outlook for 15 years as the publication’s editor and contributing writer, and prior to that he was editor of Coal & Synfuels Technology and associate editor of The Energy Report. He has a bachelor’s degree from Central Michigan University.