In the past year there have been monumental advances towards building a renewable energy portfolio in the U.S. The reputation of renewables has been at stake given the lack of proper storage means, and premature technology, however recent developments in battery, and panel efficiency have allowed for California East Bay Community Energy to sign Power Purchase Agreements (PPA) with confidence. The terms of a recent agreement with two developers, sPower Solar and Edwards Solar Project set prices of solar produced electricity at an average of 2.2¢/kWh, with delivery starting in late 2022. The sPower Solar + Storage Project will have 80MW/160MWh of battery capacity, an important addition to keep prices steady when solar energy output is not at its peak. Additionally the progress in solar panel technology allows for each array to harness more energy, reducing the capital costs of developing solar.
This represents a record-setting price for the purchase of solar energy, and can be used as a case to promote further solar developments around the country, demonstrating its feasibility. It also highlights the importance of proper storage, which gives grid operators reassurance on effectively handling capacity/demand of the region, knowing prices will not spike at peak times. The agreement itself shows developers are confident in being able to provide access to solar energy at an accessible price in the next few years.