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SAN FRANCISCO, July 18, 2019 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Sunrun, Inc. (Nasdaq:RUN), the nation’s leading residential solar, battery storage, and energy services company, was awarded a landmark contract on Wednesday evening by the East Bay Community Energy (EBCE) board of directors to help replace the retiring jet-fuel Oakland Power Plant in Oakland, California with home solar and battery systems on low-income housing in West Oakland and Alameda County.
Sunrun’s project with EBCE represents a leading example in the United States of home solar and battery systems directly contributing to the replacement of a retiring fossil fuel-fired power plant. Through this project, Sunrun will bundle solar energy stored in home battery systems and send it back to the electricity grid, forming what’s known as a “Virtual Power Plant” to help power the area.
Replacing a polluting power plant in Oakland with solar and batteries shows how California can find a path to more reliable grid with localized clean energy. A Sunrun analysis shows that at today’s costs, solar and batteries on homes and businesses could provide 9 gigawatts of capacity across California. This is the equivalent of 50 large natural gas power plants or four times the size of the Diablo Canyon nuclear power plant slated to retire in 2025.
“Sunrun is excited to partner with East Bay Community Energy to help pave the way towards a cleaner, more resilient and affordable energy system,” said Lynn Jurich, Sunrun co-founder and Chief Executive Officer. “Our company is built on the foundation that solar energy should be accessible to everyone, particularly those communities most impacted by pollution and which today lack access to clean energy. Shifting from an aging, dirty fossil fuel power plant to energy provided by home solar and batteries will ensure that West Oakland residents are at the center of the clean energy transition.”
Sunrun will develop several megawatts of solar and more than two megawatt-hours of batteries on over 500 low-income housing units by 2022. This will deliver 500 kilowatts of grid reliability capacity to EBCE during a 10-year contracted period.
Sunrun’s Brightbox home solar and battery systems offer additional benefits including backup power in the event of a grid outage, such as those being instituted by PG&E and other electric utilities in California to reduce the risk of wildfire. Importantly, local clean energy like solar-powered home batteries can save all energy consumers money by helping to displace the need for costly transmission infrastructure. This technology can also support the increased adoption of electric vehicles.
“EBCE is excited to work with Sunrun to increase our local resiliency, expand access to solar for low-income residents, and accelerate the transition to clean energy in Alameda County. This project sets a precedent for how distributed energy resources, such as solar and storage, can offer financial and environmental benefits within our community," said Nick Chaset, EBCE’s Chief Executive Officer.
In 2018, Sunrun established a goal to develop a minimum of 100 megawatts of solar on affordable multi-family housing , where 80% of tenants fall below 60% of the area median income, during the next decade in California. Sunrun's project with EBCE will support these goals while also further expanding access to clean solar energy and battery storage for low-income housing tenants in Oakland and the surrounding area.
Situated in Oakland’s Jack London Square, the roughly 40-year old Oakland Power Plant burns jet fuel for electricity at times of peak demand, contributing to poor air quality in some of the most polluted communities in the Bay Area.
“California has critical goals for addressing climate change and these clean energy contracts are accelerating our progress towards reducing heat-trapping greenhouse gas emissions on a shorter time frame. Our communities are demanding meaningful change and EBCE is making that happen,” said EBCE Board Chair and Oakland City Council member Dan Kalb.
Sunrun (Nasdaq:RUN) is the nation’s largest residential solar, storage and energy services company. With a mission to create a planet run by the sun, Sunrun has led the industry since 2007 with its solar-as-a-service model, which provides clean energy to households with little to no upfront cost and at a saving compared to traditional electricity. The company designs, installs, finances, insures, monitors and maintains the systems, while families receive predictable pricing for 20 years or more. The company also offers a home solar battery service, Sunrun Brightbox, that manages household solar energy, storage and utility power. For more information, please visit: www.sunrun.com.
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