Part of the City’s extensive solar and storage portfolio taking shape at multiple sites, DPU’s 27 MW-DC solar and storage portfolio is expected to save City of Fresno taxpayers $100 million over 20 years

When complete, the City’s combined solar and storage assets totaling 34 MW-DC will comprise the largest multi-campus solar and storage portfolio in the world

FRESNO, Calif. – Oct. 23, 2023 – The City of Fresno Department of Public Utilities (DPU) conducted a ground-breaking ceremony today for the development of its on-site solar energy and battery storage portfolio, which is now taking shape at three energy-intensive sites – the Fresno-Clovis Regional Wastewater Reclamation Facility, the Northeast Surface Water Treatment Facility, and the Southeast Surface Water Treatment Facility. DPU’s 27 megawatt-DC (MW-DC) “behind-the-meter” portfolio is being developed in partnership with ForeFront Power, a leading developer of solar energy and battery storage projects in the U.S. and Mexico, and the projects will be constructed by local union labor from the IBEW Local 100.

The DPU projects are part of the City of Fresno’s comprehensive plan to lower its energy costs, bolster environmental resiliency, and reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. At a time of rising electricity costs, these DPU projects will save the City an expected $100 million in taxpayer dollars by 2045. Development of the City’s solar and storage portfolio has created 192 local jobs, with the three DPU sites contributing 120 of these local jobs.

“Today is a great day for the City of Fresno,” said Mayor Jerry Dyer. “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.”

Solar energy will not only conserve taxpayer dollars, it will help DPU avoid 37,000 tons of carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions annually. This is equivalent to taking 7,000 gas-powered vehicles off local roads, or to planting 550,000 trees.

Mayor Dyer added, “The City is grateful for the ongoing support of our developer, ForeFront Power, who continue to guide us in the expansion of the City’s renewable energy assets, and we are especially proud to be working with a local union labor force from the IBEW Local 100 for the construction of the DPU projects.” 

“We’re pleased to have helped the City of Fresno with this momentous expansion of its renewable energy assets,” said Rachel McLaughlin, Senior Vice President of Sales and Marketing at ForeFront Power. “It makes sense that with over 300 days of sunshine per year, the City is harnessing one of its most abundant resources to protect pocket books, the air, and the climate all at once.”

Under the terms of a Power Purchase Agreement (PPA) with the City, ForeFront Power develops, owns, and maintains the solar and storage portfolio. ForeFront Power charges the City a fixed, below-market rate for electricity, which is locked in for the 20-year duration of the agreement. ForeFront Power will continue to operate and maintain the system at no cost to the City. The PPA enabled the City to develop its portfolio at no upfront cost and without using bond funds. The City achieves a fixed, below-market rate for electricity as well as budget certainty by avoiding utility rate increases for decades to come.

One of the Largest Behind-the-Meter Solar and Storage Projects in California, and the Largest Multi-Campus Portfolio in the World 

Each DPU site will feature ground-mounted solar energy arrays and single-axis trackers, with a combined output of 47 million kilowatt-hours (kWh) of electricity annually. When completed, the Fresno-Clovis Regional Wastewater Reclamation Facility site is expected to be one of the largest behind-the-meter solar energy and battery storage projects in California, with 17 MW-DC of solar and 2.3 MW-DC of battery storage. Moreover, the City of Fresno will host the largest multi-campus solar energy and battery storage portfolio in the world at 34 MW-DC.  

The DPU projects will complement the City’s completed behind-the-meter solar energy assets at the Fresno Convention Center, the Highway City Science Center, the Police Training Facility, and Fresno Yosemite International Airport. 

In addition to the DPU portfolio, the City of Fresno is currently working with ForeFront Power to develop new behind-the-meter renewable energy assets at other City-owned sites, including combined solar energy and battery storage at the Airport’s new terminal building and the Airport Parking Garage, as well as solar energy systems at the FAX (Fresno Area Express) Bus Yard & Employee Lot, the Fresno Animal Center, Fire Station 18, and the Southeast Police Substation.  

“The City of Fresno’s projects are unique in their size and impact, and it has been inspiring to partner with the dedicated staff at the City and DPU,” said Erinne Davis, Senior Project Manager at ForeFront Power. “We’ve overcome many obstacles together to reach this ground-breaking moment.”

Procurement through SPURR REAP Program 

The City of Fresno procured its solar energy and smart battery storage assets by leveraging the Renewable Energy Aggregated Procurement (“REAP”) Program. The REAP Program is managed by SPURR, a joint powers authority dedicated to helping the California public sector control and reduce utility expenses. REAP provides public sector buyers with pre-negotiated contracts, industry-leading pricing, and standardized terms. Through REAP’s integrated RFP process and PPA, the City of Fresno selected ForeFront Power to develop, finance, and construct its solar energy and energy storage portfolio. 

About ForeFront Power

ForeFront Power is a leading developer of commercial and industrial-scale (C&I) solar energy and battery storage projects in the U.S. and Mexico, also offering vehicle fleet electrification services. Over 15 years of working together, the ForeFront Power team has developed more than 1,500 behind-the-meter and community solar projects, totaling more than 1.1 gigawatt-DC of renewable electricity. ForeFront Power serves business, government, education, healthcare and community solar customers with a broad array of development, asset management and advisory services from its San Francisco headquarters and via teams based in New York, Mexico City, and across the U.S. through a hybrid work model.

A wholly owned subsidiary of global energy infrastructure and investment leader Mitsui & Co. Ltd., ForeFront Power operates under Mitsui’s North American investment arm, MyPower Corp. Mitsui holds a robust balance sheet and an “A” credit rating from Standard & Poor’s. For more information, visit