The California Department of Water Resources (DWR) has awarded sPower, a renewable energy company based in Salt Lake City, Utah, a 20-year power purchase agreement (PPA) to provide solar power to the State Water Project (SWP) from the Solverde I Solar Facility.
The Solverde I Solar Facility will be an 85 Megawatt (MW) solar photovoltaic facility constructed near Lancaster in northern Los Angeles County. The Solverde I facility’s expected output during its first year of production will be about 242,000 MW hours (MWh) and nearly 4.8 million MWh over the life of the contract.
DWR Director Mark Cowin says the Solverde PPA is a significant step toward achieving DWR’s clean energy objectives.
“The Solverde I project will be the largest solar energy resource in the State Water Project power portfolio,” Cowin said. “This project will shrink DWR’s carbon footprint and help us meet our aggressive goals to cut emissions that contribute to global warming.”
At the site, sPower will install more than 330,000 photovoltaic modules mounted on a motorized heliotropic tracking system that adjusts the panels’ orientation throughout the day to follow the sun’s path and maximize energy capture.
When fully operational in December 2016, the Solverde I Solar Facility is expected to offset GHG emissions by 105,000 metric tons annually, or the equivalent of avoiding carbon pollution from roughly 245,000 barrels of oil each year.
DWR is committed to a long-term effort to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions produced by its operations.
Although DWR has already reached its 2020 near-term goal to reduce GHG emissions by 50 percent below 1990 levels, the Solverde I Solar Facility will assist DWR in meeting its long-term goal to reduce GHG emissions by 80 percent below 1990 levels by 2050.