Fresno’s Department of Public Utilities (DPU) has broken ground on its on-site solar energy and battery storage development project in California, US.

The project comprises three energy-intensive sites, the Fresno-Clovis Regional Wastewater Reclamation Facility, the Northeast Surface Water Treatment Facility, and the Southeast Surface Water Treatment Facility.

The Fresno DPU is developing this 27MWDC ‘behind-the-meter’ portfolio in collaboration with American solar energy and battery storage developer ForeFront Power.

The projects will be built by the IBEW Local 100 labour union.

ForeFront Power develops, owns, and manages the solar and storage portfolio as per the terms and conditions of a power purchase agreement with the city.

The projects are expected to save the city, which is now facing escalating power bills, an estimated $100m in tax money by 2045.

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It will also assist the DPU in reducing 37,000 tons of carbon dioxide emissions each year.

Development of the city’s solar and storage portfolio has created 192 local jobs, with the three DPU sites contributing 120 out of the total 192.

Fresno mayor Jerry Dyer said: “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.”

Each DPU site will include ground-mounted solar energy arrays and single-axis trackers, with a total yearly output of 47 million kilowatt-hours.

Upon completion, the Fresno-Clovis Regional Wastewater Reclamation Facility site is set to feature 17MWDC of solar and 2.3MWDC of battery storage power.

Furthermore, Fresno will house what is said to be the world’s biggest multicampus solar energy and battery storage portfolio at a total of 34MWDC.