Sunpin Solar, a California-based solar developer, and Direct Energy Business, part of Direct Energy, one of North America’s largest energy and energy-related services providers, and a subsidiary of Centrica PLC, announced a renewable energy power purchase agreement (PPA) for the full output of the recently completed ColGreen North Shore Power Plant. The renewable energy PPA covers the full 96.75 MW DC / 74.8 MW AC capacity of the solar project and will serve Direct Energy Business’ retail energy customers in California. This agreement is one of the first instances an energy service provider (ESP) has enabled a project of this size in California.
“California is a very competitive market for utility-scale solar developers, and I am proud of the Sunpin Solar team for the successful implementation of this new innovative Structured PPA with Direct Energy Business. This agreement sets the stage for our plans to build at least another 200 MW of solar in California,” said Tom Li, President of Sunpin Solar.
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Situated on 485 acres of land in the city of Mecca, CA, near the Salton Sea, the project has been operational since January 2019. The ColGreen North Shore Solar Power Plant is interconnected to the Imperial Irrigation District (IID) Utility grid and has delivery capability into the California Independent System Operator (CAISO) territory. The single-axis tracking system has an expected annual production of over 210,000 MWh, which would be enough solar energy to power 22,300 homes per year according to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Greenhouse Gas Equivalencies Calculator.
“Energy Service Providers like Direct Energy Business can enable investments in renewables to help California reach its energy policy goals,” said David Brast, Senior Vice President, North America Power and Gas, Direct Energy Business. “As California continues to evolve into a competitive energy market, we will work with suppliers like Sunpin Solar to deliver more energy choices for our Direct Access (DA) and Community Choice Aggregation (CCA) customers. This renewable energy PPA with Sunpin Solar is an important milestone in this journey and aligns with Centrica’s commitment to provide products and services that lead to a lower carbon future.”
The ColGreen North Shore Solar Power Plant displaces the CO2 equivalent of over 100,000 acres of trees and will offset greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions of over 32,000 vehicles driven each year, per the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Green-house Gas Equivalencies Calculator. The project created 425 local jobs at the peak of construction in an area classified as disproportionately burdened by pollution and with population characteristics more sensitive to pollution by the CalEPA. The completion of the project was celebrated with a ribbon-cutting ceremony on February 15th.
— Solar Builder magazine