Richmond hosts largest publicly owned solar project in SF Bay Area

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The more than 103,000 residents of Richmond, California, will soon be able to take pride in hosting what the companies involved are saying is the largest publicly owned solar project in the San Francisco Bay Area.

The 60-acre, 10 MW MCE Solar One plant is the result of a partnership between the city and four main companies: Cenergy Power, sPower, RP Construction Services (RPCS) and Array Technologies.

Constructed by RPCS on the site of an old oil refinery, 80,000 ground-mounted modules are mounted on Array Technologies DuraTrack HZ v3 trackers. The plant is expected to produce enough electricity to power 9% of the town’s 36,093 households.

Customers partially covered the pre-development costs through their participation in Marin Clean Energy’s (MCE) Deep Green 100% renewable energy service, a Community Choice Aggregation (CCA) program that allows customers to power their homes with 100% clean energy for around $4 per month more than their current bills, according to MCE.

CCAs are becoming more and more popular in California, with more than a dozen either already established or in planning.

“It’s great seeing an old refinery convert its property to a solar project,” said Alex Smith, RPCS chief sales officer. “Overcoming site-specific environmental and property challenges on this site is proof that more of these projects are going to keep happening.”