The Port of Oakland will soon buy 35% of its power from a Southern California solar plant, under a 20-year power-purchase agreement (PPA).
Late last week, the port’s commissioners voted to spend $8.9 million to purchase solar power from a solar farm in Lancaster, California. The farm will expand its capacity to account for the contract, and the expansion will go online by December 2020.
According to notes from last week’s meeting, port officials said they will purchase 11,000 MWh at $39 per megawatt-hour (MWh) and will re-sell the electricity through its municipal utility to tenants of the port, including Oakland International Airport and the seaport. The $39 figure is more evidence of the very low contract prices for solar which have been signed in recent years, reaching a global low of under $27/MWh in Mexico earlier this year.
Rough calculations by pv magazine suggest the expansion of the Lancaster farm will have to be in the neighborhood of 5 MW to accommodate Oakland’s PPA, but the exact figure wasn’t known at press time.
Port commissioners said the contract will provide about 35% of what it needs by 2030 to meet California’s renewable-portfolio-standards (RPS) requirements under California Senate Bill 350, which raised the RPS from 33% by 2020 to 50% by 2030. Currently, a bill is making its way through the California legislature to create a 100% RPS by 2045.
The decision to add solar power to its electricity mix comes approximately one year after the port lost its biggest tenant, Ports of America. Since then, the port has worked to modernize its operations to compete more effectively with its competitors in Los Angeles, Tacoma, Wash., and Long Beach, Calif. Oakland’s port provides nearly 10,000 jobs, both directly and indirectly, in the Oakland area.
Reports say the port is also looking to purchase other types of renewable energy other than solar, including hydroelectric, geothermal, wind and biogas, to comply fully with the law.
This content is protected by copyright and may not be reused. If you want to cooperate with us and would like to reuse some of our content, please contact: firstname.lastname@example.org.
By submitting this form you agree to pv magazine using your data for the purposes of publishing your comment.
Your personal data will only be disclosed or otherwise transmitted to third parties for the purposes of spam filtering or if this is necessary for technical maintenance of the website. Any other transfer to third parties will not take place unless this is justified on the basis of applicable data protection regulations or if pv magazine is legally obliged to do so.
You may revoke this consent at any time with effect for the future, in which case your personal data will be deleted immediately. Otherwise, your data will be deleted if pv magazine has processed your request or the purpose of data storage is fulfilled.
Further information on data privacy can be found in our Data Protection Policy.