The California Department of General Services (DGS) and SMUD announced an agreement for DGS to receive over 50% of its electricity needs in SMUD’s service territory via a 20-year Large Commercial SolarShare agreement. The SolarShares program is a community solar project—a series of solar generating facilities shared by multiple community members, allowing the customer to avoid developing and maintaining its own onsite solar facilities. This agreement is the largest community solar project of its kind in the nation—creating enough energy to power about 8,200 homes per year (about 74 GWh).
The electricity from this agreement will be used to power a variety of DGS properties in Sacramento County and will help bring many facilities to zero net energy (ZNE) once they meet energy efficiency targets. Specific buildings included in this agreement include those that house the California Energy Commission, Employment Development Department, California State Personnel Board and many more.
“This partnership is an important next step in achieving Governor Brown’s ambitious climate change goals,” said DGS Director Daniel C. Kim. “The SolarShares agreement allows California to demonstrate its leadership in greening state operations, which reduces utility costs and helps ensure a brighter future for all.”
With this agreement, DGS will help mitigate the production of approximately 30,000 metric tons of greenhouse gas emissions each year. That’s equivalent to removing more than 11,500 gas-powered vehicles from the road. The agreement is also projected to save DGS an estimated $22 million in energy costs over the next 20 years.
“DGS’ actions will lead directly to reduced greenhouse gas emissions and improved regional air quality,” said SMUD CEO and General Manager Arlen Orchard. “They’re a fantastic partner and we appreciate their vision and dedication to the health and well-being of our community.”
SMUD’s Large Commercial SolarShares program allows large businesses in the Sacramento region to purchase solar energy directly from SMUD. DGS is already a SolarShares customer, receiving about half of the solar electricity generated by SMUD’s Rancho Seco solar farm. This new agreement expands DGS’ SolarShares participation approximately sixfold.
News item from SMUD