University of California Signs Historic PPAs
Frontier Renewables, a utility scale project developer, announced the signing of two 25-year power purchase agreements (PPAs) with the University of California (UC) to provide its campuses and medical centers with a total of 80 MW of solar photovoltaic energy.
The contracts, representing the largest solar energy purchase by a US higher education institution, are between The Regents of the University of California and Five Points Solar Park and Giffen Solar Park, two subsidiaries of Frontier Renewables. The projects are 60 MW and 20 MW in size and are located in Fresno County, Calif.
Construction for the Five Points and Giffen projects is expected to begin in late 2015 and early 2016, respectively, and the plants will begin generating clean power by the end of 2016. The two projects will produce a combined total of approximately 206,000 MWh per year.
The two agreements are major components of the university’s sustainability initiative. Announced by UC President Janet Napolitano in November 2013, the initiative’s goal is to make UC the first research university to achieve carbon neutrality by 2025, in part by re-examining the energy sources powering UC’s 10 campuses and five medical centers.
Earlier this year, UC became a registered Electric Service Provider, allowing the university’s Wholesale Power Program to supply electric power to UC Irvine and its medical center, UC Merced, UC San Diego and its medical center, UC San Francisco and its medical center, and UC Santa Cruz, under California’s direct access rules.
The two PPAs were approved by the university’s wholesale governing board, which oversees wholesale power-related policies and actions. The board was formed in December 2013 and consists of one representative from each of the UC locations participating in the Wholesale Power Program. This solar supply will allow the university’s campuses served by the Wholesale Power Program to receive energy that is 60 percent sourced from renewable supply.
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