As one of the first public agencies nationwide to take advantage of expanded federal renewable energy incentives, Peninsula Clean Energy has reached innovative agreements with nine cities in California and San Mateo County to install solar and future battery storage on public buildings.
Peninsula Clean Energy is executing 20-year power purchase agreements (PPAs) to install 1.7 MW of solar power on 12 public buildings in San Mateo County and the city of Los Banos.
The agreements include solar power systems at the San Mateo County Human Services Agency Center in Redwood City; Atherton Town Hall; Brisbane Mission Blue Center; Colma Community Center; Hillsborough Public Works Yard; Los Banos Community Center; Los Banos Wastewater Plant; Millbrae Town Center complex; Millbrae Recreation Center; Pacifica Community Center; San Bruno Aquatics Center; and the San Carlos Youth Center. In addition, at least three communities will be adding battery storage to provide backup power.
The solar power installations are expected to be operational by the end of 2023 and deliver an estimated $17 million in lifetime energy savings to participating cities and San Mateo County.
“Climate change is real and it’s impacting us now more than ever. It’s vital to our community and the environment to expand renewable energy projects and slash energy costs,” said San Mateo County board of supervisors VP Warren Slocum, whose district includes the county’s Human Services Agency Center. “The identification and coordination of these public sector projects are a practical demonstration of the benefits Peninsula Clean Energy brings to our communities.”
Peninsula Clean Energy is providing the construction capital and is among the first to use the direct pay benefits included in the federal Inflation Reduction Act. This allows qualified tax-exempt project developers to directly claim the full value of the 30% federal Investment Tax Credit without having to share the value of the credit with a tax equity partner. The result is a lower PPA price and higher energy savings for the cities and county facilities where these projects will be installed.
“We want to do everything we can to bring more renewable power online. With this innovative program, we take the burden of solar and storage project development off of city and county staff and achieve cost reductions through scale,” Peninsula Clean Energy CEO Jan Pepper said. “This is a win for our customers as well as a win for Peninsula Clean Energy in continuing to execute on our public agency mission. Congress and the Biden administration have given us a valuable tool with ‘direct pay’ under the Inflation Reduction Act.”
A second round of the program is also already underway, with Peninsula Clean Energy having completed designs and interconnection applications for more than 40 sites to install approximately 15 MW of solar and potentially battery storage systems across its service territory.
— Solar Builder magazine