Lancaster partners with US Topco Energy and SolarCity

LANCASTER – US Topco Energy, the City of Lancaster and SolarCity are collaborating to bring a four-megawatt, 16 acre “solar farm” to Lancaster, city officials announced this week.

The project, consisting of 14,000 ground-mounted solar panels installed on vacant city land, is expected to generate enough clean, renewable energy to annually power more than 550 homes.  SolarCity will design, build, own and maintain this new system, which is currently under construction. The project has been developed by US Topco and the city as phase one of an ambitious plan expected to bring a total of 200 megawatts of solar to Lancaster.

Under Southern California Edison’s CREST feed-in tariff program, the utility will pay SolarCity for the solar electricity the farm generates, which will feed directly into the local utility grid, reducing the City’s carbon footprint.

“Topco is committed to helping power the world with renewable energy, and the City of Lancaster has done more than any city in the nation toward this goal,” said Topco Chairman Joshua Chang in a news release. “We are proud to partner with Mayor Parris and with SolarCity, who share our passion to provide clean, affordable electricity to homeowners, businesses and government entities, alike.”

“Thanks to the many innovative partnerships the City has developed, we are continuing the development of Lancaster’s solar industry at a very fast pace,” said Lancaster Mayor R. Rex Parris in a city news release. “This project is yet another crucial step toward our goal of becoming America’s first truly Net-Zero city.”

This solar project culminates the effort launched in 2010 with SolarCity which is already bringing solar power to hundreds of homeowners, schools and churches across the city; as well as to Lancaster City Hall, the Lancaster Performing Arts Center, and the City’s minor league baseball stadium.

“SolarCity is proud and inspired to work with partners like Topco and the City of Lancaster,” said SolarCity CEO Lyndon Rive in a news release. “Our goal is to continue to make clean energy more affordable to more people and large-scale projects such as this one bring us closer to the goal line.”

Earlier this year, Lancaster became the first city in the nation to require housing developers to install solar energy with every new home built. More local projects with US Topco are planned.

(Information via press release from the City of Lancaster.)