California solar installation complete and ready for sheep grazing


Renewable America (RNA) announced the mechanical completion of its Fallon Two Rock Road Solar Farm (Fallon). The company develops small utility-scale solar storage and multi-customer community microgrid projects in California. 

Fallon is located in the Petaluma region of Marin County, Calif. It will join Marin Clean Energy’s (MCE) service area portfolio, producing an estimated 2.3 GW/h annually. Fallon uses bifacial solar modules on fixed tilt trackers with 1.45 MWdc capacity. According to RNA, the site is expected to power 300 homes and save about 19,000 tons of carbon dioxide emissions throughout its 35-year lifetime. 

RNA obtained a California Environmental Quality Act category three exemption permitting the facility’s construction. This is because the land area where the project sits has previous developments underway, which are listed on The City of Petaluma Official City Website. Furthermore, the proposed facility allows continued sheep grazing between solar arrays per the Williamson Act, which is a program that allows for specific parcels of land to be restricted to agricultural use in exchange for reduced property taxes. RNA says the project is five acres and will occupy only 3.6% of the parcel’s total acreage and retain the natural state of the remainder.  

Sunwest Bank has been financing the project through a sale-leaseback structure, allowing RNA to sell Fallon to Sunwest Bank and then lease it back from them. “This deal marks the inception of fruitful partnerships with Sunwest Bank and MCE,” said Ardi Arian, president and CEO of Renewable America.  

MCE is a renewable electricity provider that started serving Northern California in 2010. The organization buys and builds “cleaner” energy, which is then delivered and managed by the Pacific Gas and Electric company. Customers can sign up for MCE’s Light Green Deep Green or Local Sol service, which varies between 60% and 100% of renewable energy. 

MCE states that they have removed 700,000 metric tons of greenhouse gases from the atmosphere. Furthermore, its standard Light Green service is working toward becoming 95% greenhouse gas-free by the end of this year, up from 60% in 2017. Finally, 48 MW of renewable projects have been built in MCE’s service area. 

The RNA, MCE and Sunwest Bank partnership pushes California toward meeting the goals outlined in the state’s renewable energy portfolio. According to the California Energy Commission, that includes ensuring that utilities procure 60% of retail sales from renewable sources by 2030. The state has also committed to achieving 100% clean energy by 2045. 

RNA also closed a $150 million financing partnership with Excelsior Energy Capital in March last year. The company is an independent North American renewable energy investor. The terms of the deal grant Excelsior all the rights to RNA’s entire project portfolio for 30 months in exchange for financing the development and construction of 100 MW of new solar and storage distributed energy resources. 


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