Valley Clean Energy (VCE) signed a 15-year power purchase agreement for power from the Leeward Renewable Energy-developed Willow Springs 3 facility in Kern County, California.
Willow Springs is a 72 MW solar, 36 MW (144 MWh) storage project that is expected to supply enough energy to serve around 27% of VCE’s 125,000 customers. Leeward will own and operate the facility. Construction is set to begin this December.
The facility is expected to begin delivering power by the end of 2023. Under the agreement, Leeward will contribute to VCE’s workforce development and sustainability efforts, and support local hiring and training.
The project is Leeward’s fourth PPA serving customers of community choice aggregators (CCA) in the Kern County area, which is north of Los Angeles.
Also slated to begin construction in Kern County this December is Leeward’s Chaparral Solar facility, which is planned to sell its power to Peninsula Clean Energy, a CCA that serves San Mateo County. The project is a 102 MW solar, 52 MW (208 MWh) storage facility that is expected to come online by the end of 2023.
Leeward largely has built wind energy projects in the past, but said it is now moving into the solar space and has a project development pipeline across 23 states. Leeward is a portfolio company of OMERS Infrastructure, an investment arm of one of Canada’s largest pension plans.
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