The project, developed by Strata, has awarded an Engineering, Procurement and Construction (EPC) contract to Tesla for the state-of-the-art Megapack battery system. Construction, using local union labor, is scheduled to commence in July 2020.
Strata Solar’s Ventura Energy Storage project was competitively selected by Southern California Edison, a subsidiary of Edison International, for a 20-year PPA in April 2019 to supply local capacity. The California Public Utilities Commission unanimously approved the PPA in December 2019. As the largest project selected in the paradigm-shifting solicitation by SCE, the project is helping Southern California to move away from the Aliso Natural Gas Storage facility and coastal power plants without compromising reliability.
“This precedent setting project is a testament to Strata Solar’s twelve years of success in the energy industry and our commitment to battery storage development as a core business line,” said Strata’s founder and CEO Markus Wilhelm. “We focus on smart development, value for our customers and strong returns for our investors with a team that has the experience to deliver market-leading results.”
The project recently completed entitlements and finalized all necessary commercial agreements. Equity interest is scheduled to close in the second quarter.
Ventura Energy Storage will provide extensive benefits to the county and region including reliable on-demand power with no emissions to approximately 80,000 homes and businesses. In addition, more than $3 million in new sales and use tax and more than $9 million in new property taxes is expected be generated by the project. To ensure local job growth, a Project Labor Agreement has been signed with the Tri-Counties Building and Construction Trades Council.
“I’m excited to see this project moving forward,” said CEO of Venture County, Mike Powers. “Given the disruptions taking place during this time, Planning Department staff has done a great job, approving the project during the county’s first virtual Planning Administrative Hearing. We appreciate these types of projects especially as we adopt strategies to stimulate our local economy following the economic impacts of COVID-19.”
Developed on a brownfield site in a private industrial park, the Ventura Energy Storage project is sited away from residences and in close proximity to a critical transmission line, which provides backbone power for much of western Ventura County. The project also co-invested in modernizing the local water system to support area fire prevention and additional business growth.
"Ventura Energy Storage is exactly the type of modern and clean energy infrastructure investment our community needs,” said Oxnard Mayor Tim Flynn. “Our citizens want more renewable energy and companies like Strata Solar help make it happen. Together, the City of Oxnard and Ventura Energy Storage are the leaders in the transition to technologies that enable clean energy."
The electrical grid in Ventura County is stressed by diverse terrain, extreme weather and the planned retirement of old and inefficient natural gas-fueled power plants along the coast. By developing new and versatile energy resources like Ventura Energy Storage, the reliability of the electric system is enhanced without increasing emissions.