SAN DIEGO, USA: Sempra Generation announced today that the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) has approved Pacific Gas & Electric's (PG&E) contract to purchase 48 megawatts (MW) of photovoltaic solar power from Sempra Generation's Copper Mountain Solar facility.
The CPUC's approval of the contract signals the January 2010 construction start for the facility, an expansion of Sempra Generation's existing 10-MW El Dorado Solar power plant. Both projects are located near Boulder City, Nev., about 40 miles southeast of Las Vegas, and each will provide power to PG&E under two 20-year power contracts.
When completed by late 2010, the combined 58-MW installation will become the largest operational photovoltaic solar-power facility in North America. Together, the two facilities will utilize nearly 1 million photovoltaic panels.
"The approval of this power contract will allow us to bolster and expand a vital renewable energy hub for the western United States, one that will provide citizens in California with reliable and sustainable power for years to come," said Michael W. Allman, president and chief executive officer for Sempra Generation.
"The prime desert location for this solar project provides a reliable, efficient daytime source of energy for more than 330 days a year. We continue to be very pleased with the positive reception Sempra Generation's wind and solar projects have received from existing and potential customers and look forward to continuing the development of large, utility-scale renewable power projects that meet North America's ever increasing demand for clean energy."
Unlike other solar-power facilities, Sempra Generation's plants do not use heated water or other liquids in the power-generation process. Solar facilities generate electricity during the day when customer demand typically peaks.