Photo courtesy of Coso Geothermal.
Photo courtesy of Coso Geothermal.

Information provided by Monterey Bay Community Power.

Monterey Bay Community Power and Silicon Valley Clean Energy have signed two significant renewable energy contracts, one for geothermal generation and the other for solar. According to an April 21 release, these new contracts add to each agency’s California Renewable Portfolio Standard-eligible resources, as part of a power mix dedicated to improving grid reliability while supporting the growth of and access to renewable energy resources across the state. The collective buying power of community choice energy agencies like Monterey Bay Community Power and Silicon Valley Clean Energy, in partnership with their customers, continues to drive the state’s growth of affordable clean energy.

The geothermal contract is with Coso Geothermal Power Holdings, located in Inyo County, CA. It is an existing geothermal facility that provides “baseload power” available 24 hours a day.

“Monterey Bay Community Power is committed to supporting renewable energy on behalf of the communities we serve,” said Tom Habashi, CEO of MBCP. “This agreement with Coso Geothermal will meet 11% of our total load and moreover, the 24/7 availability of geothermal makes significant contributions to overall grid reliability by complementing our existing solar power sources. This is a big win for MBCP, SVCE and all of our customers.”

The solar plus storage energy contract jointly procured by MBCP and SVCE is with Rabbitbrush LLC. The release said this project will produce renewable energy benefits by pairing solar generation with battery storage, offering a source of power and potentially even extra revenue after the sun has set. Rabbitbrush will provide 3% of both MBCP’s and SVCE’s total electricity needs through a combined capacity of 100 MW/AC of solar PV and 20 MW of battery energy storage. The contract with the plant, which is scheduled to become operational in June 2022, lasts 15 years. The Rabbitbrush project is located in Rosamond, CA in Kern County, home to another Monterey Bay Community Power-Silicon Valley Clean Energy joint procurement deal with BigBeau Solar.

The two power purchase agreements selected from MBCP and SVCE’s joint request for offers are by design complementary to each other, the release said. Not only do geothermal facilities provide 24/7 available renewable power, they also produce their maximum energy in cooler months and provide a slightly reduced output in the hotter summer months, counteracting the solar energy output peak during long summer days.