PG&E to make “significant” investment in solar power for California

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A CNET news story published yesterday outlined Pacific Gas & Electric’s (PG&E) major plans for investment in solar energy for several Californian communities. The announcement was made at the Clean Tech Investor Summit, which has been taking place over the past two days in Palm Springs, California. PG&E’s CEO Peter Darbee is cited as having said that the company’s planned investment would be “significant”, and on a par with Southern California Edison’s solar program to spend $850 million over five years.

PG&E currently sources its clean energy from other providers, such as BrightSource and Ausra, but the company’s plans will involve building and owning solar installations in the state. The company envisages that it will own and operate panels and modules on the rooftops of commercial buildings and homes, and will bring California closer to meeting the stipulation that utilities acquire at least 33% of their electricity from renewable sources by 2020.

“We will do a filing [with regulators] in the next quarter to make an equity investment in renewable energy,” said Mr. Darbee in the interview. “We are going to move to an equity investment because we have a tax appetite whereas so many other entities do not.”

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