First Solar, Inc. and the City of Roseville, California, today announced they have signed a power purchase agreement (PPA) for 32MWAC of solar electricity to be generated at the Lost Hills photovoltaic power plant that First Solar is developing and will construct in Kern County, California.
The 10-year PPA is First Solar's first such agreement with a municipal utility, and is effective in 2015. The PPA was approved by the Roseville City Council on July 17, 2013.
The Lost Hills project construction could start in early 2014, and is expected to create up to 200 jobs at its peak.
Roseville Electric purchased 325,000 MWH of renewable energy for $24 million for 10 years. The contract cost $6.5 million less than similar renewable energy purchase offers in 2012.
"We are pleased to acquire renewable electricity to help us reach the state's requirement for 33 percent by 2020," said Roseville Electric Utility DirectorMichelle Bertolino. "As a community-owned utility, contracts such as this help minimize the cost impact on our customers while maintaining highly reliable service."
Under the agreement, Roseville will receive 100 percent of the Lost Hills power plant's output for the first four years of the agreement; it will then decline to a smaller percentage of the output. First Solar has an additional PPA for Lost Hills' output with Pacific Gas and Electric, which goes into effect in 2019.
In its first year, Lost Hills will produce enough clean, renewable energy to power more than 11,000 homes, offsetting more than 20,000 metric tons of CO2 annually, which is the equivalent of taking about 4,000 cars off the road each year, and displacing over 18,000 metric tons of water consumption annually.