Electrify America announced on May 18 that it has signed a 15-year VPPA (virtual power purchase agreement) with Terra-Gen, a renewable energy developer to construct a 75 MW solar power complex based in California. Solar Glow 1 is going to produce 225,000 MWh (megawatt-hours) of clean, renewable energy per year.
This is enough energy to more than counterbalance the energy given to Electrify America charging network consumers on an annual basis. Solar Glow 1 is expected to open in the summer of the year 2023, with construction starting later this year.
Electrify America will contribute to the primary sustainability aim of “additionality” by being the largest open infrastructure in North America to participate in a VPPA. Electrify America is buying and decommissioning all bundled environmental certificates linked with the new solar venture over a period of a 15 years, a departure from the standard practice of purchasing unbundled environmental certificates from a third-party seller, which does little to stimulate more renewable energy output.
“The business model and objective of Electrify America has always been at the frontier of attempts to reduce emissions by allowing electric mobility,” stated Giovanni Palazzo, CEO, and president of Electrify America. “Our commitment to our consumers and a sustainable future are inextricably linked, which is precisely the reason we are making in renewable energy production to ensure that the energy we offer to our customers has a net-zero carbon footprint.”
Electrify America’s first solar program in the Mojave Desert of Southern California may be expanded at Terra-Gen’s discretion to incorporate a battery storage system to improve renewable energy transmission to the grid during periods when peak power stations would ordinarily be needed to fulfill customer needs. The electricity generated by those power plants is not only more expensive, but the thermal producing facilities themselves are a substantial greenhouse gas pollution source.
To help reduce the carbon footprint and possible emissions connected with the electricity which drives its charging network system, Electrify America is seeking to deploy over 30 MWh of behind-the-meter energy storage devices at charging points across the US.
Despite the fact that Solar Glow 1 won’t be operational for another year, the Electrify America charging network will be powered entirely by renewable energy by April 2022, thanks to the acquisition of environmental certificates from the current renewable generation.
However, the business is expanding. It has signed an interim VPPA, which will go into effect in October, to support the current Solar Energy Generating Systems IX solar thermal facility until the neighboring new solar photovoltaic complex in San Bernardino County is completely operational. SEGS IX, which was among the biggest solar thermal energy generating plants when it was finished in 1990, will acquire the bundled environmental certificates and buy renewable energy from Electrify America. It is currently one of the world’s oldest solar thermal power plants.