City of Lancaster Mayor Rex R. Parris and representatives from U.S. TopCo Energy Inc. met today to sign a memorandum of understanding (MOU) and a power purchase agreement (PPA) regarding US TopCo's upcoming construction of solar facilities in Lancaster.

"We are thrilled to have developed this partnership with TopCo, and grateful to Supervisor Antonovich for his role in helping establish these relationships with overseas companies and investors," remarked Mayor R. Rex Parris. "Great partnerships such as these are vital as Lancaster strives to further our goal of becoming the solar energy capital of the world."

Mayor Parris and City staff have been working closely with US Topco Energy, Inc. to further develop this public/private partnership, allowing for the development and construction of a number of solar energy facilities, with the intent to sell the power generated on a wholesale basis to other utilities.

Under the PPA, the Lancaster Power Authority (LPA) will provide the initial property site of approximately 25 acres for US Topco Energy, Inc.'s use in constructing a 7.5 megawatt Generation Facility. In exchange, the LPA will receive 12% of the program revenue from US Topco Energy, Inc. The estimated revenue of the initial 7.5 megawatt CREST (Southern California Edison's California Renewable Energy Small Tariff Program) project is $3.9 million over the 20-year term of the Agreement.

The Amended and Restated Memorandum of Understanding expands on the possibility of other projects and programs such as a Property Assessed Clean Energy (PACE) program, which would allow residents within the City to purchase solar systems for their homes and finance the purchase of such systems through individual property assessments. On April 12, 2011, the City Council approved the original MOU between the City of Lancaster and US Topco Energy, Inc. The original MOU committed the City to work with US Topco Energy to investigate opportunities to develop one or more photovoltaic solar power plant(s) capable of generating at least 50-megawatts of electrical power. The amended and restated MOU increases the size of the partnership between the LPA and US Topco Energy from 50-megawatts to a total aggregate of up to 200-megawatts of electrical power. The MOU does not commit the City to any current or future expense. It does, however, commit City staff time toward establishing this partnership, in order to generate revenue to the Lancaster Power Authority (LPA).

About US TopCo

US Topco Energy, Inc.'s mission is to provide their customers with a reliable source of vertical solar system integration solutions. Their line of service includes the planning and establishment of solar power plants ranging from 500kW to 50MW, to various new and retrofit commercial and residential constructions. US Topco Energy, Inc. has one of the most experienced teams of renewable energy systems designers in the industry. Their group offers unparalleled technical expertise, and has designed some of the largest commercial photo voltaic systems in the United States, as well as highly customized off-grid systems around the world.

About the City of Lancaster

The City of Lancaster is a thriving community of more than 156,000 in northern Los Angeles County. Clean air, attainable housing, wide open spaces, and a close-knit community make Lancaster the ideal place for families. A low cost of doing business, endless potential for growth, and a strong commitment
to business from local leaders has earned Lancaster the Eddy Award for "Most Business-Friendly City" in Los Angeles County from the Los Angeles County Economic Development Corporation. In addition, Lancaster boasts more than 300 days of sunshine per year, making it the ideal place to pioneer new solar energy technologies. No matter how you look at it, it's positively clear that Lancaster is the perfect place to live, work and play!