The newly launched 3.8 MWdc Sheep Creek Community Solar Farm in Adelanto, California, marks the first project under California’s Enhanced Community Renewables (ECR) program to be contracted by one of the state’s three investor-owned utilities.
As one of the first community solar farms in Southern California, Sheep Creek Community Solar Farm is designed to generate clean energy for both residential and commercial accounts. There are currently 241 subscribers.
The solar farm was developed and managed by Catalyze and Ampion for Southern California Edison (SCE). The project will expand access to solar energy for customers who do not own their property, are not able to pay the upfront cost of solar installation, or have a roof that is in poor condition or shaded.
Additionally, the project will support SCE’s efforts to comply with California’s Green Tariff Shared Renewables program, requiring the state’s investor-owned utilities to offer 100% solar energy options to their customers.
“Community solar plays a key role in ensuring that participation in the clean energy transition is accessible to all,” said Jared Haines, CEO of Catalyze. “We couldn’t be prouder to develop the first front-of-the-meter community solar project that supports California’s ECR program. It is our hope that Sheep Creek can act as an example for other projects to follow statewide, and we can accelerate the execution of more community solar projects to help reach the goal of ensuring widespread availability of renewable energy.”
California’s ECR program, a component of the Green Tariff Shared Renewables program, gives utility customers the opportunity to receive 100% clean energy from the state’s largest utilities. Under the structure of the program, utility customers can subscribe to a portion of a community solar project. The customer pays for the amount of energy to which they are subscribed. The customer then receives a credit on their utility bill that reflects this amount of electricity produced by their share of the solar farm. This process is managed by Ampion, which handles subscriber acquisition and revenue management for the Sheep Creek site.
“Community solar’s debut in the Southern California Edison territory marks a watershed moment for the state and the movement,” said Nate Owen, CEO of Ampion. “Since community solar projects have no upfront cost or installation needed for users, they are an excellent way for states to give their citizens access to renewable energy.”
The ECR program allows low-to-middle-income residents, who have traditionally been left out of the energy transition, to reduce their own carbon footprint and utility costs while alleviating stress on the power grid. Solar energy provided by the Sheep Creek project will add to California’s renewable energy supply portfolio and assist in reaching the state’s goal of 100% renewable energy use by 2045.
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