The Imperial Irrigation District Board of Directors approved a 23-year power purchase agreement with Citizens Energy Corporation for 30 megawatts of solar energy, which will be used to serve approximately 15,000 low-income electric customers under the district’s eGreen program.
“We believe all customers should have a choice and an opportunity to support and benefit from locally produced renewable energy,” said IID Board President James Hanks. “It has been our belief for quite some time now that a program such as this could be beneficial for all of our customers. I’m very pleased that we were able to put together a deal with Citizens that will turn this into a reality.”
The new solar project will be located on approximately 200 acres of district-owned land, leased to Citizens, and connected to IID’s electric system. The district will use the energy purchased from the project to lower the energy bills of its qualified low-income customers. The district will have an option to purchase, own and operate the project equipment at the end of the agreement.
Citizens Energy, a nonprofit energy company with a robust portfolio of utility-scale solar projects, currently has an existing commitment through its stake in the SunrisePowerlink transmission line running through the Imperial Valley to invest in programs that serve low-income customers in IID’s service area. To date, investments have focused on residential rooftop solar systems. Under this unique partnership, Citizens will be able to reach more customers and provide them a greater benefit.
“We are proud to work with our friends at IID to harness clean, renewable power for the benefit of both low-income homeowners and renters in the Imperial and Coachella Valleys,” said Citizens Energy Chairman Joseph P. Kennedy II. “The Aztecs and the Mayans worshipped the sun and drew on its power to create great civilizations. We are committed to drawing on that same power to forge a greener civilization, free of fossil fuels that will protect the planet and help thousands of struggling families with affordable electricity.”
Under the power purchase agreement structure, energy costs to the district in the first year are expected to be approximately $19.83 per megawatt hour.