PG&E To Add 48-MW of Solar Thin-film to Mix

Pacific Gas and Electric Company (PG&E) has entered into a contract with El Dorado Energy LLC, a subsidiary of Sempra Generation, to purchase 48 megawatts (MW) of photovoltaic solar power produced at the Copper Mountain Solar facility. This is the utility’s second contract for renewable energy from Sempra Generation and it is subject to approval by the California Public Utilities Commission.

Sempra Generation’s new Copper Mountain Solar facility, which will be at the same site at the company’s El Dorado facility, could produce an average of 100 gigawatt-hours of electricity each year. First Solar Inc. executed an agreement to build the 48-MW expansion earlier this year.

Construction of the new solar project, which will create about 200 local construction jobs, is slated to begin later this year and will be completed in 2011.

“PG&E is pleased to collaborate again with Sempra Generation as we work to meet our customers’ long-term energy needs with environmentally friendly power,” said Fong Wan, senior vice president of energy procurement for PG&E. “Solar projects, like the Copper Mountain Solar facility, are ideally suited to help meet our customers’ peak energy loads.”

This agreement, combined with a contract PG&E signed in late 2008 to purchase the entire 10 MW output of Sempra Generation’s existing El Dorado Energy Solar power plant, provides PG&E with all 58 MW generated by the Boulder City, Nev., solar projects. Boulder City is located about 40 miles southeast of Las Vegas. had a chance to tour the El Dorado facility earlier this year. Play the video below to hear more about the facility.