Mon. Jul 15th, 2024

Electrify America, the EV charging firm created by Volkswagen within the aftermath of its diesel emissions scandal, mentioned on Tuesday {that a} new, 75 megawatt photo voltaic farm in Southern California is now up and working.

Electrify America isn’t working this photo voltaic farm. As a substitute, the corporate struck a 15-year digital energy buy settlement (VPPA) with renewable power developer Terra-Gen. It’s the most recent improvement in Electrify America’s efforts to hyperlink itself to renewable power initiatives. The companies broke floor on the plant again in February.

Your typical VPPA entails a purchaser, which pays a hard and fast value for no matter power is generated, and a vendor, which generates the power and sells it through the grid for the customer at market charges. The customer assumes some threat, as a result of the vendor may wind up promoting the power beneath the mounted charge. But, the customer may additionally see the upside if market costs development above the mounted charge.

In different phrases: Electrify America is taking up some threat with this deal, and in alternate it will get to say it’s serving to clear up the grid whereas probably benefiting from rising power costs.

Renewable power builders play a vital position in decarbonizing the grid, however simply how far do VPPAs go in mitigating local weather change? This appears to be an open query. Even Electrify America’s press launch leaves some wiggle room on this entrance: “This model new building contributes to ‘additionality,’ by producing new renewable power that won’t in any other case be out there,” the corporate mentioned in an announcement (Emphasis: TechCrunch).

May one other purchaser have stepped in if Electrify America hadn’t? Like several offset-related deal, it’s troublesome to say whether or not the settlement is facilitating one thing that definitively wouldn’t have occurred in any other case. (If you’re conscious of any educational research on the environmental influence of VPPAs, please get in contact: harri.weber [at] techcrunch.com).

For its half, Electrify America’s announcement states that the height power its funding will generate is “akin to the facility drawn by 500 EVs charging without delay at a mean pace of 150 kilowatts.” The photo voltaic farm’s annual “manufacturing is projected at 225 Gigawatt-hours,” Electrify America provides. In an earlier press launch, the agency claimed the result of this deal will probably be “akin to the carbon sequestered by planting almost 40 million timber.”

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