Catalyze, a company focused on transitioning to clean energy, recently inaugurated the Sheep Creek Community Solar Farm in Adelanto, California. This project is the first under the California government’s Enhanced Community Renewables (ECR) program to be contracted by Southern California Edison (SCE). SCE is one of California’s three investor-owned public utilities.

The Sheep Creek Community Solar Farm will generate clean energy for residential and commercial customers. It serves as SCE’s initial undertaking under the ECR program.

The Sheep Creek project provides solar energy access to customers who are unable to install solar panels on their properties, either due to lack of funds or poor roof conditions. Additionally, the project supports SCE’s commitment to offering 100% solar energy options to their customers.

Although SCE has the contract for Sheep Creek, Catalyze was the company that actually built the solar farm. And now that the solar farm is completed, Ampion is the company that is overseeing Sheep Creek’s day-to-day management. Sheep Creek currently has 241 subscribers.

Jared Haines, the CEO of Catalyze, highlighted the significance of community solar in increasing accessibility to clean energy. Haines expressed pride in developing the first front-of-the-meter community solar project that supports California’s ECR program. His hope is that Sheep Creek will inspire similar projects statewide, propelling the execution of more community solar initiatives.

The ECR program offers utility customers the chance to access 100% clean energy from the largest utilities in the state.

Customers can subscribe to a segment of a community solar project and pay for the energy they receive. They will then receive a credit on their utility bill reflecting the electricity produced by their share of the solar farm. Ampion manages this process, handling subscriber acquisition and revenue management for the Sheep Creek site.

Nate Owen, CEO of Ampion, believes that the introduction of community solar projects is a significant moment for the state. These projects require no upfront cost or installation for users, making them an excellent way to increase access to renewable energy.

The ECR program benefits low-to-middle-income residents who have traditionally been excluded from the energy transition. ECR enables them to reduce their carbon footprint and lower their utility costs. As community solar arrives in Southern California, the state moves one step closer to its goal of 100% renewable energy usage by 2045.