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Leaders of LADWP Approve 400-MW Eland Solar/Battery Project

27 September 2019

The Los Angeles Department of Water and Power (LADWP) Board of Commission on September 10 voted to approve power purchase agreements for the Eland Solar and Storage Center, the largest solar and battery energy storage system in the US.

The agreements are now subject to Los Angeles City Council approval.

"The climate crisis has never been more dire, but the solutions have never been clearer or cheaper — and Los Angeles is investing in renewable energy and cleaning our air as part of my DWP reform agenda," said Mayor Eric Garcetti. "The Eland Solar and Storage Center will help us keep the lights on without the help of dirty fossil fuels — even when the sun isn't shining — and power our progress toward a low-carbon, green-energy future."

This project is expected to play a key role in helping Los Angeles reach 55% renewable energy by 2025, 80% renewables by 2036, and 100% renewables by 2045. This project follows a decision earlier this year to phase out natural gas operations at, instead of repower, three LADWP coastal power plants.

"Eland Solar and Storage Center will offer reliable, cost-competitive energy as we expand solar and other renewable resources to meet our aggressive climate change goals," said LADWP Interim General Manager Martin Adams. "Among other benefits, the project will bridge the gap between day and night, dramatically increasing the operational value of the project."

Located on 2,650 acres in Kern County, the project will include two large-scale solar facilities that will capture 400 MW of solar energy and store up to 1,200 megawatt-hours (MWh) of energy — all of which can be distributed to meet peak demand, reducing the need for natural gas at night or on cloudy days.

The Eland proposal, which will be built in two phases, was selected out of a pool of 130 proposals because of the project's scope and competitive price, which includes a fixed cost of less than 2 cents per kilowatt-hour (kWh) for solar power, the lowest price offered in US history. 8minutenergy will also cover all costs associated with the development, maintenance, and operation of the facility.

The LADWP Board of Commissioners approved two power purchase agreements with 8minutenergy to develop the project and begin commercial operation no later than December 31, 2023.

Currently, LADWP receives 31% of its energy from renewable sources, and the Eland Solar and Storage Center will increase that number by up to 7.1%.

The joint clean energy investment with Glendale Water and Power, who will receive 12.5% of the total solar and battery storage, will be administered through the Southern California Public Power Authority (SCPPA).

Reprinted from PointLogic News. For more natural gas news from IHS Markit, visit the PointLogic website.

Barry Cassell is an Energy Editor at IHS Markit.

Posted 27 September 2019

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