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PALMDALE — The City could add a potential solar energy project that would be used to supply power for Energy for Palmdale’s Independent Choice.

Energy for Palmdale’s Independent Choice, or EPIC, will provide energy for residential and municipal customers beginning in October 2022 and commercial customers beginning in May 2023.

EPIC is part of California Choice Energy Authority, a joint powers authority that brings together individual cities’ own Community Choice Aggregation programs, including Lancaster’s.  

As part of supplying energy to residents and local businesses, EPIC must ensure that Palmdale participants receive the appropriate mix of renewable energy and that resource adequacy needs are also being met, according to a staff report.

The City Council on April 6 unanimously agreed to authorize City Manager J.J. Murphy and  City Attorney Christopher Beck to negotiate the terms and conditions of a land lease option agreement with PFMG Solar. The proposed lease agreement will be city-owned property southeast of Sierra Highway and Columbia Way (Avenue M).

In order to determine whether a potential solar project can provide positive benefits to EPIC customers, PFMG Solar must submit an application to be placed in the queue with the California Independent System Operator prior to the deadline, or else wait a year to submit the application.

Once an application is approved, the California Independent System Operator will prescribe the cost for the proposed solar project to interconnect with the state’s grid, which will allow PFMG Solar  to determine its rates and staff to ascertain the feasibility of the project, the report said.

PFMG Solar requires a land lease option agreement be in place prior to submitting an application to the California Independent System Operator.

Once the California Independent System Operator determines the  interconnect fees, PFMG Solar would then prepare a final land lease agreement and a solar product agreement. Only then could the City determine the feasibility of the solar project and the potential benefits it could provide to EPIC, according to the report.

PFMG Solar will pay Palmdale $10 for the lease option. After the final costs are determined, the company will propose annual lease payments for the land to the City.

“The potential agreement could help stabilize EPIC’s rates, which would affect the costs for energy paid by the City,” the report said.

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