Renewable Properties is a developer and investor in small-scale utility and community solar projects based in San Francisco, while PG&E is California’s largest investor-owned utility. The projects will bring the benefits of clean solar energy to households that can’t install solar on-site, helping to expand renewable energy access to low-income communities in California.
The five solar projects are part of California’s Disadvantaged Communities (DAC) and Community Solar Green Tariff (CS-GT) programs enacted by Assembly Bill 327 in 2013. CS-GT, branded as “Local Green Saver” by PG&E, is designed to promote the installation of community solar projects in disadvantaged communities, as defined by CalEnviroScreen. Eligible residents who subscribe will benefit from 100% off-site solar power and receive a 20% bill credit on their PG&E bill.
“Through these Green Tariff projects, Renewable Properties is bringing solar energy to communities that have historically been left out of the clean energy transition, while being disproportionately affected by pollution and climate change,” said Brian von Moos, chief development officer of Renewable Properties. “The projects will allow low-income families to save on their electricity bills, even if they can’t put solar on their own roof.”
The five projects will fulfill the remaining capacity of PG&E’s Disadvantaged Communities Green Tariff program. Energy storage could potentially be added to the projects in the future.
The first three projects, East Cleveland Solar and Avenue 26 Solar Phase I and Phase II, will commence construction in the early spring 2023 and are expected to be completed by the end of the year. The East Cleveland Solar project will be built in Merced County, California, and produce enough energy to power 748 homes per year. Avenue 26 Solar Phase I and II will be built in Madera County, and together will produce enough energy to power 2,105 homes.
Commencing construction in late December 2023, the 7 MW Althea Avenue Solar project will be in the Fresno County, and produce enough energy to power 1,182 homes per year. The project is expected to be completed by September 2024.
Renewable Properties will also build the nearly 7 MW Canyon Road Solar project in Merced County, scheduled to commence construction in March of 2024 and be completed by the end of that year.
California is set to further expand community solar in the state with a program that is currently being developed by the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC), following the passage last year of Assembly B 2316, the Community Renewable Energy Act. The new law includes requirements that 51% of the program serves low-income customers and incentivizes incorporating energy storage with community solar projects.