Regulators approve key contract for new 48-megawatt Sempra Generation solar power plant
Largest operational photovoltaic solar facility in North America to start construction in January

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Hanan Eisenman/Art Larson

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Glen Donovan

Sempra Energy

Sempra Energy

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        SAN DIEGO, Dec. 17, 2009 – Sempra Generation announced today that the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) has approved Pacific Gas & Electric’s (PG&E) contract to purchase 48 megawatts (MW) of photovoltaic solar power from Sempra Generation’s Copper Mountain Solar facility.
        The CPUC’s approval of the contract signals the January 2010 construction start for the facility, an expansion of Sempra Generation’s existing 10-MW El Dorado Solar power plant.  Both projects are located near Boulder City, Nev., about 40 miles southeast of Las Vegas, and each will provide power to PG&E under two 20-year power contracts.

        When completed by late 2010, the combined 58-MW installation will become the largest operational photovoltaic solar-power facility in North America.  Together, the two facilities will utilize nearly 1 million photovoltaic panels.

        “The approval of this power contract will allow us to bolster and expand a vital renewable energy hub for the western United States, one that will provide citizens in California with reliable and sustainable power for years to come,” said Michael W. Allman, president and chief executive officer for Sempra Generation.  “The prime desert location for this solar project provides a reliable, efficient daytime source of energy for more than 330 days a year.  We continue to be very pleased with the positive reception Sempra Generation’s wind and solar projects have received from existing and potential customers and look forward to continuing the development of large, utility-scale renewable power projects that meet North America’s ever increasing demand for clean energy.” 
        Unlike other solar-power facilities, Sempra Generation’s plants do not use heated water or other liquids in the power-generation process.  Solar facilities generate electricity during the day when customer demand typically peaks.
        Sempra Generation operates and maintains a fleet of natural gas fueled and solar power plants serving the U.S. market and is in the process of developing renewable power projects in the Pacific Southwest.  Sempra Energy (NYSE:  SRE), based in San Diego, is a Fortune 500 energy services holding company with 2008 revenues of nearly $11 billion.  The Sempra Energy companies’ 13,600 employees serve more than 29 million consumers worldwide. 


This press release contains statements that are not historical fact and constitute forward-looking statements within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995.  These statements can be identified by words like “believes,” “expects,” “anticipates,” “intends,” “plans,” “estimates,” “may,” “would,” ”could,” “should,” or similar expressions, or discussions of strategies, plans or intentions.  Forward-looking statements are not guarantees of performance.  They involve risks, uncertainties and assumptions.  Future results may differ materially from those expressed in the forward-looking statements.  Forward-looking statements are necessarily based upon various assumptions involving judgments with respect to the future and other risks, including, among others: local, regional, national and international economic, competitive, political, legislative and regulatory conditions and developments; actions by the California Public Utilities Commission, California State Legislature, California Department of Water Resources, Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, Federal Reserve Board,  and other regulatory and governmental bodies in the United States, the United Kingdom and other countries; capital market conditions and inflation, interest and exchange rates; energy and trading markets, including the timing and extent of changes and volatility in commodity prices; the availability of electric power, natural gas and liquefied natural gas; weather conditions and conservation efforts; war and terrorist attacks; business, regulatory, environmental and legal decisions and requirements; the status of deregulation of retail natural gas and electricity delivery; the timing and success of business development efforts; the resolution of litigation; and other uncertainties, all of which are difficult to predict and many of which are beyond the control of the company.  These risks and uncertainties are further discussed in the reports that Sempra Energy has filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission.  These reports are available through the EDGAR system without charge at the SEC’s Web site, and on the company’s Web site, at

Sempra Pipelines & Storage, Sempra Generation, Sempra LNG and RBS Commodities dba Sempra Energy Solutions and Sempra Energy Trading are not the same companies as the utility, San Diego Gas & Electric (SDG&E) or Southern California Gas Company (SoCalGas), and Sempra Pipelines & Storage, Sempra Generation, Sempra LNG and RBS Commodities dba Sempra Energy Solutions and Sempra Energy Trading are not regulated by the California Public Utilities Commission.