San Diego Gas & Electric adds 237MW of solar energy to its portfolio

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San Diego Gas & Electric (SDG&E) revealed that it had signed two new power purchase agreements totaling 237MW with enXco and Arlington Valley Solar Energy II (AVSE II). The 25-year PPA with enXco will see a 110MW solar PV facility, Catalina Solar Project, built in Kern County, California, while the AVSE II deal calls for up to 127MW of solar energy delivered by ground-mounted PV panels from a solar facility built in Arizona.

Under SDG&E’s agreement with enXco, the utility will buy the power generated by the ground-mounted Catalina Solar Project with enXco developing, building and owning the plant. Set to be built on 1,100 acres of land, the solar project will be constructed in two phases with the first 50MW scheduled to begin delivery by the end of 2011 and the remaining 60MW commissioned by June 2013.

Catalina Solar will likely be connected to the statewide power grid through Southern California Edison’s Tehachapi Renewable Transmission Project (TRTP).

“The proximity to other enXco/SDG&E projects and the load base, along with near-term constructability makes Catalina Solar a perfect solution to help the utility meet its renewable energy goals,” commented Mark Tholke, vice president, southwest region for enXco. “Catalina Solar will bring the total under long-term agreements with SDG&E to 310MW joining Oasis Wind (60MW producing since 2004) and Pacific Wind (140MW in development) both in Kern County.”

The signed agreement with Arlington Valley Solar will see 127MW of solar energy produced by a ground-mounted PV station in Maricopa County, Arizona. Delivery of the first 25MW is expected to occur by the end of 2013’s first quarter with the subsequent 25MW delivered every two months until the project is completed.

The solar project will connect at the same substation in Arizona where SDG&E’s Southwest Powerlink begins. The utility will collect the power and renewable energy credits from the project, with the energy produced expected to be fed into the California Independent System Operator’s statewide grid.

“This kind of contract is a win-win for our customers and the state,” said Matt Burkhart, vice president of electric and fuel procurement for SDG&E.  “Also, as part of the contract, the developer has agreed to purchase a portion of the solar panels for the project from a California-based supplier.”

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