PV project developer Recurrent Energy has announced that its 38MW solar project in Sacramento, California has commenced commercial operation.
The project represents the last of a four-project portfolio for public utility firm Sacramento Municipal Utility District (SMUD). The four projects have a combined PV capacity of 88MW and have been constructed on land that had been growing low-value crops and that was of little or no habitat value for protected species.
The first three projects reached commercial operation in May 2012 and have also been built in Sacramento County in Elk Grove, Galt and Sloughhouse.
With the addition of the final 38MW solar power project, the full 88MW portfolio is expected to generate enough electricity to power more than 13,000 US homes. Electricity generated by the projects is being purchased by SMUD under a 20-year power purchase agreement.
“SMUD's pursuit of a sustainable and balanced power supply is paving the way for many other utilities,” said Arno Harris, CEO of Recurrent Energy. “The completion of this portfolio showcases that strong renewable energy policy and collaboration between the public and private sectors can drive the solar industry to play a significant role in meeting our energy needs.”
The four projects were originally announced in the summer of 2010 and represent the first projects to benefit from the utility's feed-in tariff programme introduced in January 2010. The projects have also received financial support from Google and SunTap Energy.