The Clean Power Alliance (CPA) board of directors has approved a 15-year power purchase agreement (PPA) with NextEra Energy Resources LLC for a 75 MW long-duration standalone energy storage project. The project is located at NextEra’s Desert Sands Energy Storage facility in Riverside County, California. CPA will begin storing and discharging energy from the facility in June 2026.
The project marks CPA’s first executed contract incorporating eight-hour storage capabilities. CPA’s many other battery storage projects incorporate four-hour battery technologies. Compared to a four-hour battery of the same size, an eight-hour battery can discharge twice as much energy. Desert Sands can power over 96,000 homes for eight hours daily.
With an energy supply portfolio with many different types of intermittent resources, CPA also is a significant contributor to electricity system reliability by being one of the largest purchasers of energy storage in California.
“This long-term agreement is unique in that it incorporates eight hours of storage capabilities rather than the more common four hours of storage technology,” said Ted Bardacke, CEO of the CPA. “The result is increased resilience and reliability for our many Southern California customers, which we must have as we transition to higher levels of renewable energy supply.”
In June 2021, the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) issued a decision requiring load-serving entities, such as CPA, to increase procurement to address mid-term reliability concerns. As a result of this decision, CPA was required to procure a total of 679 MW of new reliable capacity between 2023 and 2026, including 59 MW of long-duration storage by 2026.
The Desert Sands project is the first energy storage agreement CPA has executed to meet its MTR 59 MW long-duration storage compliance requirement and means CPA will have completely satisfied this requirement several years early.
“Our staff and Energy Planning and Resources Committee are being successful in selecting projects to meet both our long-term sustainability goals and our regulatory requirements,” said Dr. Julian A. Gold, CPA’s board chair. “Last summer’s extended heat wave throughout California was a powerful reminder as to why long-duration storage projects such as this are critical in building resilient communities.”
— Solar Builder magazine
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