Virginia-based Electrify America has announced a 15-year virtual power purchase agreement (VPPA) with developer Terra-Gen to build a solar photovoltaic renewable energy generation project in San Bernardino County, California. The new solar project is expected to generate 75 Megawatts at peak solar capacity or an estimated annual production of 225,000 Megawatt-hours of clean, renewable energy.
It is projected to produce enough 100% renewable energy annually to more than offset the energy currently delivered on an annualized basis to Electrify America’s customers charging on its extensive network. The solar project is expected to break the ground in late 2022 and is targeted to be operational by mid-2023.
Although the new solar facility will not be online until mid-2023, Electrify America’s charging network is already backed by 100% renewable energy effective April 2022 through the purchase of environmental certificates from existing renewable generation.
In becoming the largest open network in North America to enter into a VPPA, Electrify America will be supporting the key sustainability goal of “additionally,” meaning that this arrangement would result in new, additional renewable energy generation. Electrify America is purchasing and retiring all bundled environmental certificates associated with the new solar project over a 15-year period, shifting away from the business-as-usual approach of buying environmental certificates from a third-party supplier on an unbundled basis, which does less to support additional renewable energy generation.
“Electrify America’s business model – and purpose – have always been at the forefront of efforts to reduce emissions through enabling electric mobility,” said Giovanni Palazzo, president, and CEO of Electrify America. “Our commitment to customers and to a sustainable future go hand-in-hand, which is why we are investing in renewable energy generation to commit to a net-zero carbon footprint associated with the energy delivered to our customers.”
Electrify America’s first solar project in the Southern California Mojave Desert may also be expanded at the option of Terra-Gen to include a battery energy storage system to further increase the delivery of renewable energy to the grid during times when more costly peaking power plants would normally be used to meet customer needs.