Leeward Renewable Energy (LRE) has completed construction and commenced operations of its 100-MW Rabbitbrush Solar Facility located in Kern County, California. The facility also includes a 20-MW, 50-MWh battery energy storage system.
The energy generated by the project will serve two not-for-profit, community-owned electricity providers, Central Coast Community Energy (CCCE) and Silicon Valley Clean Energy (SVCE), through two 15-year power purchase agreements (PPAs). LRE, CCCE and SVCE hosted a ribbon-cutting ceremony at the Rabbitbrush Solar Facility earlier today to celebrate the start of operations at the facility.
“LRE is proud to partner with CCCE and SVCE on a monumental project that will provide significant economic and environmental benefits,” said Jason Allen, CEO of LRE’s. “Bringing this project online is another example of how we manage our projects in alignment with our core values of protecting and respecting the environment in the communities where we operate. Our focus is on providing continuous value to local communities while building and maintaining strong, long-term relationships.”
Rabbitbrush Solar will serve the needs of nearly 40,000 homes per year. Additionally, as part of LRE’s continued commitment to preserving and protecting the environment, the company signed an agreement with the National Audubon Society and Kern Audubon Society to contribute $150,000 to a fund for the study and conservation of the Swainson’s Hawk in the Antelope Valley.
“Responsible renewable energy development and wildlife conservation go hand in hand, and LRE’s contribution to the very important Swainson’s Hawk Conservation Fund will help hawks in the Antelope Valley of California survive and thrive,” said Garry George, director of the National Audubon Society’s Clean Energy Initiative. “We are pleased to collaborate with LRE as we advance habitat conservation and clean energy in Kern and Los Angeles Counties, and we look forward to partnering with other companies in the region to ensure renewable energy facilities avoid, minimize, and mitigate the impacts on birds and other wildlife.”
LRE also contributed economic and job benefits to Kern County, including hundreds of thousands of dollars through community donations and project fees that fund critical public services. Additionally, the project generated sales and property tax benefits, and created 380 union jobs during peak construction.
“The Rabbitbrush project is Central Coast Community Energy’s second solar + storage power purchase agreement to come online this year,” said Rob Shaw, COO of CCCE. “Coupling solar generation with battery storage allows us to move closer to a decarbonized energy grid and statewide emission-reduction goals. CCCE is committed to investing in innovation while delivering reliable energy to our customers.”
The Rabbitbrush Solar Facility features ultra-low carbon, thin-film photovoltaic solar modules that use less energy, water and semiconductor material. Additionally, the project’s 20-MW, 50-MWh battery energy storage system is designed to support the resiliency and reliability of the California electrical grid.
“Rabbitbrush helps Silicon Valley Clean Energy deliver on its commitment to provide clean, affordable, and reliable electricity,” said Monica Padilla, COO and director of Power resources at SVCE. “As SVCE communities shift away from fossil fuels to electrify homes and buildings, new projects like Rabbitbrush that add carbon-free capacity and reliability to the grid are key.”
News item from Leeward Renewable Energy