The Los Angeles Department of Water and Power (LADWP), the largest municipal utility in the United States, has announced a new partnership with 8minute Solar Energy to provide storable, renewable and affordable power to households throughout Los Angeles and the San Fernando Valley — at the lowest combined solar and storage prices on record. The project offers a glimpse of the future, with zero-carbon sources providing energy cheaper than fossil fuels.
The contract was approved by the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power despite opposition from the city-run utility’s labor union, according to KTLA.
As the country’s largest independent solar-plus-storage power plant development company, 8minute will build a massive new facility — Eland Solar & Storage Center — to serve the needs of the LADWP. Eland will deliver up to 400 MW of clean energy to the grid while capable of storing up to 300 MW/1,200 MWh, dispatchable for use when the sun is not shining, typically in the evening and night hours when the load is still high. Located just 70 miles north of Los Angeles close to California City on over 2,000 acres of barren, desert land, much of which was previously disturbed, Eland will be built in two phases starting operations in 2022 with full operational capabilities in 2023. The project will be the largest municipal photovoltaic operation in the world. Due to the partnership’s unprecedented scale, 8minute is able to provide LADWP with the lowest solar energy prices on record in the United States: less than 2 cents per kWh.
“Today was a big win for the city of Los Angeles, the people of California and the renewable energy industry as well,” said Jeff McKay, VP of marketing for 8minute. “The project offers a glimpse of the future, with zero-carbon sources providing energy cheaper than fossil fuels to households throughout Los Angeles and the San Fernando Valley — at the lowest combined solar and storage prices on record. While further final regulatory approval is still needed, today was a big step in ensuring this project becomes a reality, and we feel very strongly that this project is a win-win for everyone involved.”
The Eland Solar & Storage Center has been engineered by 8minute to provide fully dispatchable power under control of the LADWP to meet its customers’ demands with reliable and cost-effective power — a capability previously reserved for large fossil fuel power plants. Eland’s ability to provide fully dispatchable power for less than the traditional cost of fossil fuels effectively positions solar PV as an attractive candidate to be the primary source of California’s 100% clean energy future.
When the Eland cluster comes online in 2023, 8minute will be the largest provider of clean energy to Los Angeles — supplying enough clean power for more than 1 million people throughout LA County. The project’s development and construction is expected to create more than 700 new jobs during the peak of construction.
News item from 8minute
When is the project gonna break ground?
Kelly Pickerel says
I’m not sure of official ground-breaking, but the PPAs have been approved and operation will begin no later than Dec. 31, 2023 https://www.lacity.org/highlights/mayor-garcetti-celebrates-final-approval-largest-solar-and-energy-storage-project-america
Emad Al Obaidi says
Thank you Kelly Pickerel,
Eland will deliver up to 400 MW of clean energy to the grid while capable of storing up to 300 MW/1,200 MWh
Can you provide more information about the following ( What is the relation between the 400 and the storage ( 300-1200)? How much storage capacity we will be in need of such a project? Will this project will be the largest storage capacity?
Kelly Pickerel says
The solar portion is 400 MW. The battery system will be able to store up to 1,200 MWh.
Craig A.Mott says
I am one of the many land suppliers for 8minutesolarenergy.com.
Did the Mayor of Los Angeles cancel the Kern County project for good?
Peter Coye says
Energy Vault storage can overcome the limitations of chemical batteries with gravity based and grid – scaled storage systems which suffer no degradation after many cycles (unlike all chemical batteries). The price of $0.033 / kWh for both generation and storage for the Eland project is unrealistically low.
Breathlessly announcing an “historic low price” for a project which will fail to pencil out in the coming years (25 year contract!) and cannot meet the S.B. 100 goal of 24-7-365 renewable power helps no one.
LADWP’s rush to salve political wounds with a big solar + storage deal needs closer inspection.
Gene Nelson, Ph.D. says
This 8Minute press release seems “too good to be true.” Let’s look at the claimed power production of 300 MW for four hours. How does that meet the power needs of “enough clean power for more than 1 million people throughout LA County?” Supplying only 300 Watts for only 4 hours a day is hardly supplying the power needs of a person. What are the penalties to 8Minute if they fail to reliably supply their power day after day to LADWP? Batteries when subject to deep discharge tend to have short operational lifetimes. (The battery technology is not revealed.) The claims in this press release should be taken “with a grain of salt.”
Kelly Pickerel says
I think in general, the 1 million people throughout Los Angeles County is referring to all of 8minute’s energy projects in total, not just this 400-MW solar one.
David Huang says
I am happy to see questions asked by Gene based on the capacity of the project. Wind energy stored by battery is an incompatible form of energy because when the stored energy is released back to the grid the wind turbine generator can’t be utilised. Instead the battery energy needs inverter to create AC electricity. Battery energy density is too small. I believe the real solutions is to store energy into compressed air, or heat, which will be used by an efficient engine that push wind turbine generators according to grid loading. We must decoup wind energy from the grid with unlimited storage capacity (as the compressed air or heat are not limited by medium like battery), more importantly you don’t need second tier of of hardware to release energy into grid because wind turbines generators should be the first and only choice to generate utilities compatible electricity. I am also not convinced that three blades wind turbine is the best. Over the past ten years till now we are developing modular vertical design to make it more efficient and environmentally friendly. Heat engine is the missing parts to make wind energy the formidable source of energy.
Acme Fixer says
Your statements are meaningless because the excess daytime solar electricity will be used to generate hydrogen which will then supply power at night. And hydrogen can be stored indefinitely and be used for transportation fuel.