60-MW Solar Project Reaches Commercial Operation in LA

The facility’s clean energy goes to the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power.

By Anca Gagiuc, Associate Editor

Barren Ridge Solar Project, Kern County, L.A.
Barren Ridge Solar Project, Kern County, Los Angeles

Los AngelesCanadian Solar Inc. announced it began commercial operation of the 60-megawatt Barren Ridge solar project in Los Angeles. Also known as the RE Cinco, the facility supplies electricity and associated renewable energy credits (RECs) to the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power under a long-term power purchase agreement.

“We are proud to work with LADWP to bring solar power to the city of Los Angeles and share their commitment to a clean energy future,” Shawn Qu, chairman & CEO of Canadian Solar, said in prepared remarks. “This is the Company’s third U.S. solar project to reach commercial operation this year, a milestone that would not be possible without the hard work and collaboration with our partners.”

Barren Ridge was developed by Canadian Solar’s wholly-owned subsidiary Recurrent Energy. LADWP, one of the top 10 utilities connecting the most solar megawatts to power grid in 2015 by the Smart Electric Power Alliance, will use the solar energy generated to power more than 25,000 homes in Los Angeles.

“We are committed to reaching 50 percent renewables by 2030, and this solar project plays an important role in reaching that goal. In addition, large-scale transmission line projects like our Barren Ridge Renewable Transmission Project facilitates a renewable energy hub that brings a thousand megawatts of wind and solar energy into the city of Los Angeles,” said LADWP Executive Director of Power System Michael Webster. “By utilizing these new transmission lines and systems, LADWP is bringing renewable energy home.”

The Barren Ridge solar project, situated on approximately 500 acres northwest of Los Angeles in Kern County, began construction in fall 2015 and created 230 peak construction jobs. In November 2015, U.S. Bancorp Community Development Corp., a division of U.S. Bank, made a tax equity investment into the Barren Ridge project. Located on public land managed by the Bureau of Land Management, the facility’s gen-tie line was vetted and approved by BLM; the facility itself is sited on private land.

“We’re proud to be part of an environmentally sustainable solution to the tremendous need for energy in the Los Angeles area. Barren Ridge will also have an impact on the region’s economy with the more than 200 jobs it created,” said Adam Altenhofen, vice president of U.S. Bancorp Community Development Corporation.

Image courtesy of Recurrent Energy