PG&E to Buy 500 MW of Solar Energy in 2010 for SF Bay Area

Pacific Gas and Electric Company (PG&E) plans to purchase at least 500 megawatts (MW) of solar energy from Luz II, LLC, beginning in the spring of 2010. The energy, said to be enough solar power for 350,000 PG&E customers including the San Francisco Bay Area, would be produced through a series of projects incorporating Luz II’s proprietary hybrid solar-gas design.

The DPT 550 technology, which meets the requirements of the California Renewables Portfolio Standard Program, can also dispatch electricity at any time of the day. Pending regulatory approval, power would begin delivery in 2010, although the site for the plants has not yet been determined. Luz II’s DPT technology, states the release, is not only more efficient in converting sunlight to electricity than the solar trough design used by the original Luz firm, it is also less expensive to build and operate. “With DPT technology,” said Arnold Goldman, “the dream of cost-effective solar power is finally going to become a reality.” Goldman, former CEO of the original Luz firm, which built nine solar electric generating systems (SEGS) in southern California between 1984 and 1990, is the new chairman of Luz II. “Thirty percent of the power we deliver comes from hydroelectric and eligible renewables, like wind, biomass, and geothermal facilities,” said Fong Wan, PG&E’s vice president of Energy Procurement. “More than fifty percent of the power we deliver comes from zero-carbon emission sources — PG&E already has one of the nation’s most climate-friendly supplies of electric power, with carbon emissions that are among the lowest in the utility industry.” This year PG&E has entered into new agreements to purchase 274 MW of wind, solar, geothermal and other renewable energy as it pursues its planned rate of adding renewable electric power resources to its supply by more than 300 MW per year.
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