Project Focus: SunPower adds 40MW capacity to California Valley Solar Ranch for PG&E

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SunPower has signed an agreement with Pacific Gas and Electric (PG&E), completing contractual arrangements between the companies for the development of a 250MW solar photovoltaic power plant in San Luis Obispo County, CA.

The agreement adds 40MW of capacity to SunPower’s existing contract with PG&E for 210MW, which was executed in August 2008. When complete, the 250MW California Valley Solar Ranch is expected to be one of the largest PV power plants in the world.

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The California Valley Solar Ranch agreement was designed to accommodate the additional 40MW capacity, without having to amend SunPower’s county permit application. The solar plant will be completed in phases, with the first phase expected to begin operation in 2011.

“We are thrilled to continue to advance one of the first central station solar power plants in the world with PG&E and in coordination with San Luis Obispo County,” said Howard Wenger, president of SunPower’s utilities and power plants business group. “The California Valley Solar Ranch will generate pollution-free solar power that is competitive with new, conventional peak power.  Our incremental 40MW agreement with PG&E provides more visibility into our power plant pipeline in 2011 and beyond.”

SunPower has revised aspects of its original power plant design in response to feedback from the local community. The new plan minimizes environmental impact by reducing the amount of traffic in the area during construction to protect local wildlife habitat and migration patterns.

Construction of the California Valley Solar Ranch is contingent on a number of factors, including the receipt of all applicable permits, completion of transmission upgrades and financing.

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