In September, the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power (LADWP) Board of Commissioners voted to approve a power purchase agreement for a solar power plus energy storage facility in Kern County, California. The LADWP commission approved the project and sent it to the City Council for a final approval from the mayor. On November 6, Mayor Eric Garcetti announced the Los Angeles City Council unanimously voted to approve the project.
The Eland Solar and Storage Center will be the largest solar and battery energy storage system in the United States, and the cheapest. The Center will help Los Angeles reach renewable energy goals with 55% renewable energy by 2025, 80% renewable energy by 2036, and 100% renewable energy by 2045.
The project is set to be fully operational by December 31, 2023-12 years after the first filing in 2012.
The LADWP portion of the 25 year PPA is for 375 MWac of solar power coupled with 385.5 MW / 1,150 MWh of energy storage, while Glendale Water and Power took the other 25 MWac of solar plus 12.5 MW / 50 MWh of energy – totaling 400 MWac of solar plus plus 300 MW / 1.2 GWh of energy storage. LADWP will pay about $1.1 billion over the 25-year contract. The project will have 300 MW / 1.2 GWh energy storage installation with a rate of 3.962 cents/kWH. The original proposed price per kWH was 1.997 cents, but the price of solar has risen since the first incarnation of the project.
The solar energy created by the Eland Solar and Storage Center will power 283,330 homes in Los Angeles.
Currently, Los Angeles receives 32% of its energy from renewable sources, and the Eland Solar and Storage Center will increase the rate to almost 40%. This rate increase means that 727,360 metric tons of greenhouse gas emissions from fuel-powered plants will be eliminated equaling the emissions of 148,700 cars.