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Electrify America invests in a...


Electrify America invests in a new solar farm through a virtual power purchase agreement

Electrify America
The Silicon Review
16 August, 2023

The 75 MW plant is now operative and capable of generating 225 GWh annually.

Electric vehicle (EV) charging firm Electrify America, created in the wake of the Volkswagen diesel scandal, has invested in a new Southern California solar farm via a 15-year virtual power purchase agreement (VPPA) with renewables developer Terra-Gen. The 75 MW plant is now operative and capable of generating 225 GWh annually. Electrify America’s contribution matches the "peak energy... by 500 EVs charging at once", according to the company. The solar farm also offers a reduction in carbon emissions comparable to that resulting from planting "nearly 40 million trees", the firm said.

The VPPA is similar to those used by firms such as Google, in which the transaction theoretically adds new renewable power to the grid through the direct purchase of guaranteed credit certificates tied to specific projects. The investment is part of Electrify America's ongoing drive to link itself with renewable energy projects. The company said its investment in the Terra-Gen solar farm meant it could "help clean up the grid while potentially benefiting from rising energy prices," but it and all VPPAs have been criticized because they could allow polluting firms to claim they are reducing emissions, even if their direct contribution to clean energy remains small.