8minute Solar Energy, one of the largest independent solar and storage developer in the U.S., and Capital Dynamics, an independent global private asset management firm, celebrated the completion and commercial operation of the 450-Megawatt Springbok Solar Cluster in Kern County, California. Elected officials, key executives, and others were on hand to cut the ribbon on the newly completed facility.
The Los Angeles Department of Water and Power (LADWP) will purchase all of the solar power generated from the Springbok Cluster for Los Angeles residents and businesses to help meet its renewable energy goals. Altogether, the Springbok Cluster encompasses three total projects, all originally developed by 8minute Solar Energy–the final facility, Springbok 3 was completed last month. The cluster includes Springbok 2, completed in 2016, which was the first solar PV facility to beat the cost of fossil fuels. Together the cluster supplies clean energy to more than 152,000 Los Angeles households.
Springbok 1, 2, and 3 are estimated to produce a total of 944 GWh (944,000 MWh or 944,000,000 kWh) for Los Angeles. The amount of carbon-free energy is estimated to serve up to 157,333 homes and avoid up to 403,788 metric tons of greenhouse gas emissions from a conventional fossil fuel power plant – equivalent to taking 82,572 cars off the road for a year.
Solar pricing beat fossil fuels
“The Springbok Cluster is the first place in the country where solar beat the price of fossil fuels. This is where we helped prove to the world that the future of energy belongs to solar–we’re so happy to be back to celebrate with our many partners and supporters. Los Angeles and LADWP have been fantastic to work with. Together, we’re showing the world that growing economies can be powered reliably and affordably by solar,” said Tom Buttgenbach, President & CEO of 8minute Solar Energy. “I’d also like to thank Capital Dynamics, the Kern County Board of Supervisors, and the local labor community for their hard work to help make the Springbok Cluster a reality.”
“Springbok is a historic solar facility and we are extremely proud to be a part of it. 8minute’s superior engineering and development is helping drive the future of energy forward towards a cleaner more sustainable future,” said John Breckenridge, Senior Managing Director and Head of Energy Infrastructure at Capital Dynamics. “Our mission is to develop state-of-the-art solar projects that provide clean and reliable energy to residents while assisting states to reduce their dependence on fossil fuels and meet their energy independence goals–this project is a big part of that mission.”
“We are very pleased to celebrate the completion of the Springbok portfolio of utility-scale solar facilities, which will contribute about 4.2 percent toward meeting our renewable goals and bringing us closer to 100 percent clean energy for Los Angeles,” said Reiko Kerr, LADWP Senior Assistant General Manager of Power System Engineering, Planning and Technical Services.
— Solar Builder magazine