Power lines stretch across the desert in Imperial Valley.
Power lines stretch across the desert in Imperial Valley. Photo by Chris Stone

San Diego Community Power, the not-for-profit community choice energy program serving five cities in the San Diego region, entered into a power purchase agreement with an affiliate of RAI Energy International, it was announced Tuesday.

The project, the Vikings Energy Farm, is located in Imperial County and is an integrated 100 megawatt photovoltaic solar energy project with up to 150 MW/600 MWh of battery energy storage intended to provide San Diego Community Power with a 20-year supply of renewable energy, help meet peak summer demand, and support grid reliability.

San Diego Community Power was formed in 2019 and began offering electricity supply services last month for municipal customers in the five- member cities of Chula Vista, Encinitas, Imperial Beach, La Mesa and San Diego. The program is intended to provide local control and consumer choice regarding energy decisions on a large scale.

Under the terms of the power purchase agreement with RAI Energy — a San Jose-based global renewable energy development company — Vikings Energy Farm project is intended to help SDCP power the equivalent of 50,000 homes.

“We are thrilled to be delivering on our promise to invest in projects that deliver more renewable energy to our customers and support regional jobs and economic development,” said Joe Mosca, Encinitas city councilman and chair of the SDCP board. “The Vikings Energy Farm project will provide clean energy when we need it most while supporting our goal of procuring 100% renewable energy to our customers by 2035 or sooner.”

RAI Energy, through its affiliate Vikings Energy Farm, will develop, design, permit, construct, own and operate the proposed project. The site is located adjacent to Holtville, California. The project was named after the Holtville High School Vikings mascot.

Construction on the Vikings Energy Farm is expected to begin in fall 2022, with commercial operations expected to begin in summer 2023. RAI Energy has a union labor agreement in place and is expected to employ more than 250 union workers at peak construction.

“Vikings Energy Farm represents the future of how we fight climate change and increase renewable energy,” said Mohammed Alrai, RAI Energy’s CEO. “By combining solar and energy storage, RAI Energy will be able to inject renewable energy into the grid when it is most needed to help ensure reliability and resiliency.”.

Based in Silicon Valley, RAI Energy International is a global renewable energy development company that has developed more than 400 MW of utility-scale and distributed generation solar photovoltaic in North America and overseas.

— City News Service