Country Acres Clean Power inks 392MWdc PPA with SMUD in California

By Simon Yuen and Will Norman
Clēnera has 17 projects across nine states in the US. Image: Clēnera

US renewable energy firm Clēnera’s affiliate Country Acres Clean Power has entered into a busbar power purchase agreement (PPA) with the Sacramento Municipal Utility District (SMUD) for a 392MWdc/344MWac solar project in California, which also features 688MWh of energy storage capacity.

Under the PPA, Country Acres Clean Power will sell the solar energy produced by the facility located in Placer County, California, for 30 years. In addition to the PPA, Country Acres Clean Power has also entered into an interconnection agreement with the SMUD, a municipal electric utility serving Sacramento County and part of Placer County, California.

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Upon completion of the required permits, County Acres Clean Power expects to begin construction in 2024, and commence commercial operations in 2026.

“We are excited to work with an excellent partner in the SMUD, a leader in providing affordable, clean energy to California residents that is highly regarded for its environmental stewardship. This project highlights the strong demand for solar and storage across our offtaker base,” said Jason Ellsworth, CEO of Clēnera.

Clēnera is a subsidiary of Israeli renewable power firm Enlight Renewable Energy. Gilad Yavetz, CEO of Enlight Renewable Energy said the project is the company’s first project in California since acquiring Clēnera in 2021.

Prior to this project, Clēnera also signed a PPA with Arizona Public Service (APS), the state’s largest utility, to sell power from its CO Bar solar and storage complex, which is expected to begin commercial production in 2025.

The company plans for the project to have a total solar capacity of 1.2GW, alongside 824MWh of battery storage, and the PPA signed with APS will see all of this storage capacity, plus 258MW of solar capacity, supplied to the utility.

Clēnera also secured a PPA with Arizona utility Salt River Project (SRP) in August. Under the agreement, SRP will secure an additional 475MWdc or 394MWac of power. This agreement was the second PPA between Clēnera and SRP at the CO Bar Solar, a 1.2GW solar and storage complex developed by Clēnera. Across both PPAs, SRP will procure about 1GW of power.

Solar-plus-storage has seen a good deal of activity in California lately, with projects such as Intersect Power’s 679MW/1GWh project beginning commercial operations earlier this month. IPP Arevon also reached financial close on a 157MW/600MWh solar-plus-storage site in Imperial County, California, utilising the newly-available transferability credits under the Inflation Reduction Act.

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