Pacific Gas and Electric (PG&E) has signed a contract with El Dorado Energy, a subsidiary of Sempra Generation, to purchase 48MW of solar photovoltaic power produced at the Copper Mountain Solar facility in Nevada. The deal, which is subject to approval by the California Public Utilities Commission, is the utility’s second contract for renewable energy from Sempra Generation, following the late 2008 agreement to supply 10MW of PV power from the El Dorado Energy solar plant.
Construction of the new Copper Mountain Solar facility, which will produce an average of 100GWhr of electricity annually, is scheduled to start later this year and will be completed in 2011.
Sempra Generation announced in April that First Solar had been chosen as the engineering, procurement, and construction contractor for the project, which is expected to create about 200 local construction jobs.
The agreement, combined with a contract that PG&E signed in late 2008 to purchase the entire 10MW output of Sempra Generation’s existing El Dorado Energy Solar power plant, provides PG&E with the entire 58MW capacity generated by the Boulder City, NV, solar projects.
“PG&E is pleased to collaborate again with Sempra Generation as we work to meet our customers’ long-term energy needs with environmentally friendly power,” said Fong Wan, SVP of energy procurement for PG&E. “Solar projects, like the Copper Mountain Solar facility, are ideally suited to help meet our customers’ peak energy loads.”
“This agreement represents a major step forward for Sempra Generation in the development of the largest operational photovoltaic solar power installation in North America,” said Michael W. Allman, Sempra Generation’s president/CEO. “It also demonstrates how we leverage our existing investments in land and electric infrastructure to deliver low-cost, large-scale solar power projects. The nearly one million solar panels installed at our two Nevada solar facilities will bring a new source of clean energy to the West and help reduce carbon emissions in the region.”