San Francisco, California [RenewableEnergyAccess.com] Pacific Gas and Electric Company (PG&E) entered into a landmark agreement with Solel-MSP-1 to purchase renewable energy from the Mojave Solar Park, which planned for construction in California’s Mojave Desert.
The project will deliver 553 megawatts (MW) of solar power to PG&E’s customers in northern and central California. When fully operational in 2011, the Mojave Solar Park plant will cover up to 6,000 acres, or nine square miles in the Mojave Desert. The project will rely on 1.2 million mirrors and 317 miles of vacuum tubing to capture the desert sun’s heat.
The electricity generated by Mojave Solar Park will use some of the transmission infrastructure originally built for the now dormant coal-fired Mojave Generation Station to deliver the power to PG&E’s customers.
“The solar thermal project announced today is another major milestone in realizing our goal to supply 20 percent of our customers’ energy needs with clean renewable energy,” said Fong Wan, vice president of Energy Procurement, PG&E.
Solel Solar Systems of Israel is the parent company of Solel-MSP-1 LLC. The plant uses Solel’s patented and commercially proven solar thermal parabolic trough technology. Over the past 20 years, the technology has powered nine operating solar power plants in the Mojave Desert and is currently generating 354 MW of annual electricity.
“We are thrilled to bring 553 MW of clean energy to California,” said Avi Brenmiller, chief executive officer of Solel Solar Systems. “Our proven solar technology means Solel can economically turn the energy of the warm California sun into clean power for the state’s homes and businesses.”
The agreement filed with the California Public Utilities Commission is part of PG&E’s broader renewable energy portfolio. PG&E currently supplies 12 percent of its energy from qualifying renewable sources under California’s Renewable Portfolio Standard (RPS) program. PG&E is aggressively adding renewable electric power resources to its supply and is on target to exceed 20 percent under contract or delivered by 2010.