Renewable energy development firm White Pine Renewables has begun construction on a 10-MW community solar project in Fresno, California.
The Fresno Disadvantaged Community (DAC) Solar Farm is a shared solar project for disadvantaged communities in California and the first utility-scale solar farm in Fresno, the company says.
Once completed, the project will comprise more than 25,000 solar panels, generating sufficient energy to power approximately 2,700 homes. The solar farm is planned to commence operations by the end of 2023.
The project is expected to provide energy cost savings directly to qualifying low-income residents under PG&E’s Disadvantaged Communities Green Tariff Program. According to White Pine, residents subscribing to the Fresno DAC Community Solar Farm will be able to save 20 percent on their energy bills.
The solar project is owned by global alternative investment fund manager AB CarVal and is sited on a 76-acre parcel owned by the city of Fresno that was previously underutilized. The city expects to generate increased revenues from the site due to higher rents from the solar facility’s operators.
Additionally, AB CarVal and White Pine recently partnered with solar non-profit GRID Alternatives to provide a free solar installation training course and jobs fair to local low-income jobseekers.
Almost 70 percent of the participants in GRID’s program have already secured jobs with AB CarVal and White Pine’s regional installation subcontractors and other local solar firms. Many graduates are now employed at the Fresno DAC Community Solar Farm, where workers receive a local prevailing wage.