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.
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