8Minutenergy signs a 27-year contract to provide solar power to the City of Palo Alto. The installation is expected to be operational by mid-2015. This is the latest addition to the city’s renewable energy portfolio and will bring it one step closer to its ultimate goal of a 100% renewable energy supply.
8minutenergy Renewables, LLC announced the signing of a 27-year contract to sell power from its 25 MW Hayworth Solar Farm in Kern County, California, to the City of Palo Alto Utilities. The transaction was conducted with 65HK 8me, LLC, a subsidiary of 8minutenergy Renewables. 8minutenergy will develop, build, and operate the Hayworth Solar Farm.
The Hayworth Solar Farm is a utility-scale project sited on up to 200 acres of low-productivity farmland. Construction is projected to begin in late 2014, with the site expected to be operational and delivering electricity to the City of Palo Alto by mid-2015. It will employ an advanced tracking system to follow the sun throughout the day, increasing energy production by up to 25%. The market for solar tracking is expanding, especially in California where the extra space required for the system is less of an issue. This clean solar generation plant will displace the equivalent of approximately 70,500 metric tons of CO2 annually.
“8minutenergy is proud to provide clean renewable energy to the city most identified with technological innovation in the world, and one that is highly committed to using environmentally friendly energy,” said Martin Hermann, chief executive officer of 8minutenergy Renewables. “In addition, Hayworth Solar Farm will create approximately 200 direct and 150 indirect jobs during construction in Kern County, and contribute to the local economy.”
The city of Palo Alto owns all its own utilities, including the electric utility, which was founded back in 1900. The city has many contracts for renewable resources in its electric portfolio, including wind farms, solar arrays, and renewable gas captured from landfills. In addition to these renewable resources, about 50% of the city’s electric supply portfolio comes from non-carbon-emitting hydroelectric generation.
“This PPA will power thousands of homes and businesses in Palo Alto, and help our city meet its goal to have a 100% renewable electric supply,” said City of Palo Alto Utilities Director Valerie Fong. “We are pleased to work with 8minutenergy on this next step down our path to a green energy future.”