Pacific Gas and Electric’s (PG&E) customers have the chance to go solar without putting panels on their roofs, thanks to the construction of the final 26 megawatt phase of the 100 megawatt Redwood Solar Cluster outside Bakersfield, CA. All the electricity generated at by the final phase will be sold to Pacific Gas and Electric’s (PG&E) Solar Choice program once it comes online in late 2017. The project, developed by 8minutenergy, is employing nearly 200 people, stimulating the local economy throughout Kern County and surrounding areas.
PG&E’s Solar Choice program provides residential and commercial customers the opportunity to power their homes and businesses with up to 100 percent solar power without having to install a rooftop system. The Solar Choice program is similar to a community solar project, but subscribers have the ability to opt-out of the program at any time. However, if customers decide to leave the program, they will lose eligibility to re-enroll for one year.
“8minutenergy’s goal is to deliver abundant, affordable solar energy through impeccable execution of utility-scale project development. Redwood 4 is delivering on that promise to provide renewable energy to tens of thousands of Californians, and we’re proud to own this beneficial project,” said Martin Hermann, 8minutenergy’s CEO and founder.
Redwood 4 is the last of four utility-scale solar farms developed at the Redwood Solar Cluster. The first three phases of the complex have been operational since the end of 2015. When Redwood 4 is commissioned and operational, the cluster will generate nearly 200 million kilowatt-hours of electricity annually, power more than 20,000 homes and reduce carbon emissions by more than 140,000 metric tons every year.
PG&E has already purchased 53 megawatts of solar for the program and continues to expand it. Including Redwood 4, PG&E is working with renewable energy developers to build eight more facilities in Northern and Central California to expand the program further. As a result, costs to participate in Solar Choice have decreased nearly 30 percent for residential customers and nearly 50 percent for some commercial customers.
The Redwood Solar Cluster is among many solar projects that 8minutenergy has developed in California. The company developed the three stage, 800 megawatt Mount Signal Solar Farm in Calexico, CA, which is among the largest solar projects in the world. That massive project has created nearly 400 jobs during construction and will be online by the end of 2018.Tweet