L.A. Officials Approve Record-Cheap Deal for Solar Power and Battery Storage

Environmental activists celebrate on Sept. 10, 2019, after the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power approved a record-cheap, 25-year deal for solar power and battery storage. (Credit: Irfan Khan / Los Angeles Times)

Environmental activists celebrate on Sept. 10, 2019, after the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power approved a record-cheap, 25-year deal for solar power and battery storage. (Credit: Irfan Khan / Los Angeles Times)

For a long time, there were two big knocks against solar power: It’s expensive, and it can’t keep the lights on after sundown.

A contract approved Tuesday by the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power shows how much that reality has changed.

Under the 25-year deal with developer 8minute Solar Energy, the city would buy electricity from a sprawling complex of solar panels and lithium-ion batteries in the Mojave Desert of eastern Kern County, about two hours north of Los Angeles. The Eland project would meet 6% to 7% of L.A.’s annual electricity needs and would be capable of pumping clean energy into the grid for four hours each night.

The combined solar power and energy storage is priced at 3.3 cents per kilowatt-hour — a record low for this type of contract, city officials and independent experts say, and cheaper than electricity from natural gas.

Read the full story at LATimes.com.

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