8Minute Solar signs 15-year deal to sell power to communities, cities in Los Angeles and Ventura counties from its 700MW Rexford Solar Project in Ducor
TULARE COUNTY – Just three weeks after getting approved to build the nation’s largest solar farm, 8Minute Solar Energy has a buyer for more than half of the 700 megawatts of energy it will produce each year in southern Tulare County.
Last Thursday, the company announced it had signed a 15-year power purchase agreement (PPA) with Clean Power Alliance to sell 400 MW from the first phase of its Rexford Solar & Storage Center when it becomes operational in 2023. Clean Power Alliance serves approximately 3 million customers and 1 million customer accounts across 32 communities throughout unincorporated Los Angeles County and Ventura County as well as the cities of Agoura Hills, Alhambra, Arcadia, Beverly Hills, Calabasas, Camarillo, Claremont, Carson, Culver City, Downey, Hawaiian Gardens, Hawthorne, Malibu, Manhattan Beach, Moorpark, Ojai, Oxnard, Paramount, Redondo Beach, Rolling Hills Estates, Santa Monica, Sierra Madre, Simi Valley, South Pasadena, Temple City, Thousand Oaks, Ventura, West Hollywood, Westlake Village and Whittier.
The Rexford Solar project, which will cover 3,600 acres near the town of Ducor, will provide enough energy for over 370,000 Californians, making it not only the largest solar-plus-storage project for Clean Power Alliance, but also the largest for any community choice aggregator to date. The plant will offset about 600,000 tons of CO2 annually, or the equivalent of planting 12,000 trees every single day, for 10 years in a row.
“The recent blackouts and continued wildfires in California offer sobering proof of the urgent need for more renewable and reliable energy generation that both fortifies our grid and fights climate change – and large-scale solar paired with energy storage is the most efficient, lowest-cost way to achieve just that,” said Dr. Tom Buttgenbach, founder and CEO of 8minute. “This partnership is yet another example of California taking the lead on next-generation technology, and we expect to build a lot more solar and energy storage centers across the United States.”
The Rexford 1 Solar & Storage Center will be constructed on private, low-productivity disturbed farmland in Tulare County, and is an example of the economic value that solar projects can provide to private landowners. Construction, which will begin in early 2022, will create over 400 well-paying union construction jobs, and approximately one thousand indirect jobs, in addition to contributing more than $200 million to the local economy over the life of the project. The investment, construction and operational inflows to Tulare County represent a huge economic boost for decades to come.
8Minute said the project will generate up to a $1.1 billion total investment, including over $200 million benefiting Tulare County directly. That is more than just jobs. That includes a site of sales tax agreement, so taxes on all purchases go to Tulare County, a development agreement of $1,000 per megawatt produced, renting equipment from local vendors and hotel stays and meals for project planners from out of the area, as 8Minute is based in Los Angeles.
Rexford 1 marks 8minute’s second project with CCAs, and underscores 8minute’s continued success on record-breaking solar-plus-storage projects that are helping ensure reliability and advance California’s ambitious clean energy goals. 8minute has contracted 4.5 GW of solar projects, with over 18GW of solar energy capacity and 24 GWh of storage under development across California, Texas, and the Southwestern United States.
“Solar-plus-storage is not only the cleanest way to increase grid reliability, it’s also the smartest and most cost-effective,” said Ted Bardacke, Executive Director of Clean Power Alliance. “We are excited to partner on a project of this scale with 8minute, a trusted Los Angeles-based developer that shares our commitment to accelerating the clean energy transition in California.”
The company said they have a portfolio of over 14,000 megawatts including the 260 MW Mount Signal Solar Farm in Imperial County. It was founded by Tom Buttgenbach and Martin Hermann in 2009. Last year the company signed a 25-year agreement to provide electricity to Los Angeles Department of Water and Power. Since its founding in 2009, 8minute has successfully put 2 GW of solar projects into operation and currently has over 18 GW of solar and storage projects under development.
“We are proud to partner with Clean Power Alliance, the largest clean choice energy provider in California,” Buttgenbach said. “Our new generation of solar-plus-storage power plants are the future of energy – replacing an aging fleet of fossil fuel power plants with more economical and cleaner solutions and creating good jobs when they are needed most.”