Fresno breaks ground on combined solar energy and battery storage project

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California Construction News staff writer

The City of Fresno department of public utilities (DPU) held a ground-breaking ceremony last week for a solar energy and battery storage project to be built on three sites – the Fresno-Clovis Regional Wastewater Reclamation Facility, the Northeast Surface Water Treatment Facility, and the Southeast Surface Water Treatment Facility.

A partnership with ForeFront Power, the projects will be constructed by local union labor from the IBEW Local 100 and create about 120 local jobs.

“Today is a great day for the City of Fresno,” said Mayor Jerry Dyer. “DPU is harnessing cutting-edge renewable energy and battery storage technology to reduce its energy burden, and to safeguard our air and environment for future generations.

“The city is grateful for the ongoing support of our developer, ForeFront Power, who continue to guide us in the expansion of the City’s renewable energy assets, and we are especially proud to be working with a local union labor force from the IBEW Local 100 for the construction of the DPU projects.”

Each site will feature ground-mounted solar energy arrays and single-axis trackers, with a combined output of 47 million kilowatt-hours (kWh) of electricity annually. When completed, the Fresno-Clovis Regional Wastewater Reclamation Facility site is expected to be one of the largest behind-the-meter solar energy and battery storage projects in California, with 17 MW-DC of solar and 2.3 MW-DC of battery storage. Moreover, the City of Fresno will host the largest multi-campus solar energy and battery storage portfolio in the world at 34 MW-DC.

“The City of Fresno’s projects are unique in their size and impact, and it has been inspiring to partner with the dedicated staff at the City and DPU,” said Erinne Davis, senior project manager at ForeFront Power. “We’ve overcome many obstacles together to reach this ground-breaking moment.”

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