For sustainable society


The electricity bill in California becomes the cheapest in cost than ever by solar

US President Donald Trump officially announced the decision to withdraw the U.S. from the Paris Agreement, a multilateral international agreement on climate change. However, the decision does not mean that all regions of the United States will immediately stop taking action on climate change. In fact, right after Trump announced to withdraw from the Paris Agreement, 12 states including California, and more than 160 cities have stated that they will abide by the agreement.

In California, the electricity bill may become the cheapest in cost than ever. On September 9, the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power (LADWP) announced a 25-year long-term contract with 8minute Solar Energy, a major solar power development company. They purchase electricity from a huge solar energy storage system in the Mojave Desert in Southern California.

The facility is a complex of solar panels and lithium-ion batteries, an energy storage facility with an output of 100MW (400MWh) is attached to a solar power generation system with an output of 200MW. The electricity is stored during the daytime and supplied at night-time and in bad weather. According to LADWP, this power generating facility covers 6% to 7% of Los Angeles’s annual electricity needs, enabling to supply electricity to about 280,000 households. Currently, renewable energy accounts for 31% of the electricity consumed in Los Angeles and will increase to 38% after the project is launched. This allows the city to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from traditional fossil fuel power plants by up to 730,000 tons, which is equivalent to removing about 150,000 petrol-driven vehicles from roads annually.

8minute Solar Energy has signed a project labor agreement with local labor unions, which will create 700 jobs over the 14-month construction period. 

The project is scheduled to launch commercial operations by 31 December 2023. The price of energy supplied by the solar power generation system is 3.96¢ (about 4.3 yen)/kWh, which has recorded the lowest level in the history of the United States.

California is actively reducing CO2, and in August last year, the California Legislature got a bill passed to make all energy used in the state renewable energy by 2045. Los Angeles also plans to increase the proportion of renewable energy in stages, reaching 55% renewable energy by 2025, 80% renewable energy by 2036, and 100% renewable energy by 2045.

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