Electrify America–backed 75MW photo voltaic farm kicks off operations


Electrify America, the EV charging firm created by Volkswagen within the aftermath of its diesel emissions scandal, mentioned on Tuesday {that a} new, 75 megawatt photo voltaic farm in Southern California is now up and operating.

Electrify America isn’t working this photo voltaic farm. As an alternative, the corporate struck a 15-year digital energy buy settlement (VPPA) with renewable vitality developer Terra-Gen. It’s the most recent improvement in Electrify America’s efforts to hyperlink itself to renewable vitality tasks. The corporations broke floor on the plant again in February.

Your typical VPPA includes a purchaser, which pays a set value for no matter vitality is generated, and a vendor, which generates the vitality and sells it through the grid for the customer at market charges. The client assumes some danger, as a result of the vendor would possibly wind up promoting the vitality beneath the fastened fee. But, the customer may additionally see the upside if market costs pattern above the fastened fee.

In different phrases: Electrify America is taking over some danger with this deal, and in change it will get to say it’s serving to clear up the grid whereas probably benefiting from rising vitality costs.

Renewable vitality builders play an important function in decarbonizing the grid, however simply how far do VPPAs go in mitigating local weather change? This appears to be an open query. Even Electrify America’s press launch leaves some wiggle room on this entrance: “This model new building contributes to ‘additionality,’ by producing new renewable vitality that could not in any other case be obtainable,” the corporate mentioned in an announcement (emphasis ours).

Would possibly one other purchaser have stepped in if Electrify America hadn’t? Like all offset-related deal, it’s tough to say whether or not the settlement is facilitating one thing that definitively wouldn’t have occurred in any other case. (In case you are conscious of any tutorial research on the environmental impression of VPPAs, please get in contact at [email protected].)

For its half, Electrify America states that the height vitality its funding will generate is “corresponding to the ability drawn by 500 EVs charging without delay at a median velocity of 150 kilowatts.” The photo voltaic farm’s annual “manufacturing is projected at 225 Gigawatt-hours,” Electrify America provides. In an earlier press launch, the agency claimed the result of this deal will likely be “corresponding to the carbon sequestered by planting practically 40 million bushes.”


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