SALT LAKE CITY & PALO ALTO — sPower, an independent solar energy provider, and the City of Palo Alto Utilities (CPAU) have announced that two new large-scale solar farms have begun commercial operation. The facilities, developed, owned and operated by sPower, are the 40 megawatt (MW) Elevation Solar C and the 20MW Western Antelope Blue Sky Ranch B solar farms located in Lancaster, CA. The City of Palo Alto Utilities is purchasing all 60 megawatts of solar energy produced at the facilities under 25-year power purchase agreements (PPAs).
Solar power now supplies one-third of city’s electric needs.
“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 percent 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. It’s another key milestone for our company.”
These latest solar facilities represent a significant portion of the nearly 500MW 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 is the largest private owner of operating solar assets in the United States.