PG&E & Brightsource Sign 900-MW Solar Thermal Deal

Pacific Gas and Electric Company (PG&E) announced that it has entered into a series of contracts with BrightSource Energy, Inc. for solar thermal power projects. The first three contracts are for a total of 500 megawatts (MW) of power to be supplied from three projects. PG&E also signed two contracts for options on an additional 400 MW, which would bring the total amount of power purchased under these five agreements to 900 MW.

The first of these plants, a 100-MW facility in Ivanpah, California, could be operating as early as 2011 and is expected to produce 246,000 megawatt-hours of renewable electricity per year. BrightSource will build and start commercial at operation each of the plants as quickly as permitting and infrastructure allow.

“Solar thermal energy is an especially attractive renewable power source because it is available when needed most in California — during the peak mid-day summer period,” said Fong Wan, vice president of energy procurement at PG&E.“ Through these agreements with BrightSource, we continue to broaden our renewable energy portfolio and provide our customers with some of the cleanest energy in the nation.”