Port of Oakland launches solar project


The Port of Oakland’s stake in a newly expanded solar array at Antelope Valley Solar Ranch has just come online. 

This solar project is now delivering renewable energy to the port.

The port owns and operates its own utility which then sells electricity to tenants including those at Oakland International Airport and the Oakland Seaport. 

The port agreed to purchase approximately 11,000 megawatt hours of electricity annually from the solar farm in Lancaster, California.

“This is a project that has been six years in the making,” said Port of Oakland Executive Director, Danny Wan. 

“Using renewable power sources to meet our energy needs is another important step towards zero-emissions and a greener port.”

Some 30 per cent of the port’s power comes from solar.

The port approved an $8.9 million deal to buy power from one of the largest solar farms in California in March 2017. 

The port’s commitment is equivalent to using approximately 50 acres of the 1300-acre solar array. 

Investing in energy from the sun on a large scale significantly decreases the cost of this renewable power.

The port anticipates and believes that the purchase of this renewable energy over the next 20 years will save it money because solar power is cheaper than energy from fossil fuels that the port would have needed if not for this investment.

The energy generated annually represents around 7 per cent of the port utility’s overall power needs. 

It also helps ensure that the port can surpass the California renewable portfolio standards requirements under Senate Bill 100.

READ: Port of Oakland ends 2022 on glum note

“Energy resources are challenging to find right now and energy prices are hitting highs we have not seen since 2001,” said Jared Carpenter, Port of Oakland Manager of Utility Administration. 

“Therefore, this solar array coming online at this time is perfect for the port utility energy portfolio.”

This comes not a month after the Port of Oakland debuted its zero-emissions top picks which was employed to reduce port’s overall emissions.

The Port of Oakland also extended its renewable energy purchase agreement with the East Bay Municipal Utility District (EBMUD) in October 2022.

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