PG&E Signs 800 MW in Solar PV Deals with OptiSolar & SunPower

Pacific Gas and Electric Company announced that it has entered into two utility-scale, solar photovoltaic (PV) power contracts with a total capacity of 800 megawatts (MW). The deals could deliver cumulatively 1.65 billion kilowatt-hours of renewable energy annually.

PG&E entered into an agreement with Topaz Solar Farms LLC, a subsidiary of OptiSolar Inc., for 550 MW of thin-film solar PV solar power. The utility also signed a contract with High Plains Ranch II, LLC, a subsidiary of SunPower Corporation, for 250 MW of solar PV power.

“These landmark agreements signal the arrival of utility-scale PV solar power that may be cost-competitive with solar thermal and wind energy,” said Jack Keenan, COO and senior vice president for PG&E. “We will continue to explore such innovative technologies as we aggressively work to increase the amount of renewable energy we provide our customers.”

The 550-MW Topaz Solar Farm project would utilize thin-film PV panels designed and manufactured by OptiSolar in Hayward and Sacramento, California. Located in San Luis Obispo County, California, the project would deliver approximately 1,100,000 megawatt-hours (MWh) of electricity annually. The project is expected to begin power delivery in 2011 and be fully operational by 2013.

SunPower’s planned 250-MW solar ranch, would be located in San Luis Obispo County’s California Valley and could deliver an average of 550,000 MWh of electricity annually. The project is expected to begin power delivery in 2010 and be fully operational in 2012.

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