SDG&E earns No. 4 ranking among U.S. utilities for installed solar power

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Sempra Energy


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        SAN DIEGO, August 5, 2008 – In a recent U.S. ranking of top utilities for installed solar power in their service territories, San Diego Gas & Electric (SDG&E) is No. 4 among U.S. utilities for total solar-power capacity, according to a recent study by the Solar Electric Power Association (SEPA). 

        SEPA, a non-profit national membership organization comprised of utilities and solar companies, determined the rankings after compiling data collected through the end of 2007.  The rankings were based on the amount of solar electricity interconnected to a utility—on the customer and utility side of the meter. 

        The study results come on the heels of SDG&E’s proposal to build the largest concentration in San Diego of advanced, solar-tracking technology.  SDG&E’s program has an initial target of developing up to 80 megawatts of solar electricity, about two-thirds of which would be utility-owned and, the remainder, customer- or third-party owned.  Combined, the installations could be enough to power more than 50,000 homes.

        “We are pleased to be recognized as one of the top utilities for installed solar power,” said Debra L. Reed, president and chief executive officer of SDG&E.  “This accomplishment reflects SDG&E’s aggressive efforts to pursue more renewable energy for our region to meet our customers’ needs in the future.“

        Increasing renewable resources from both within and outside the utility’s service territory is part of SDG&E’s long-term energy plan, along with energy-efficiency and demand-reduction programs, as well as new electric transmission and generation.

        “Based on recent announcements and internal discussions with utilities, SEPA anticipates that utilities will quickly become the largest and one of the most important customers for the solar industry,” said Julia Hamm, SEPA executive director. “Whether solar electric systems are developed by utilities, their customers, or solar companies, the utilities’ proactive engagement with emerging solar technologies is important to the solar industry as a whole. This market survey and resulting rankings provide a baseline against which increased utility activity can be measured in the future.”

        Today, 6 percent of SDG&E’s energy-resource mix comes from renewable resources such as wind, solar, biomass and geothermal.  In addition to the utility’s existing renewable portfolio, SDG&E has contracted for significant renewable energy supplies that will come online in the next few years and help meet the state’s clean energy goals.  By far, the greatest number of proposed renewable projects originates in inland areas east of San Diego—where renewable energy delivery will be facilitated by the addition of the proposed Sunrise Powerlink transmission line.

        SDG&E is a regulated public utility that provides safe and reliable energy service to 3.4 million consumers through 1.4 million electric meters and more than 840,000 natural gas meters in San Diego and southern Orange counties.  The utility’s area spans 4,100 square miles.  Exceptional customer service is a priority of SDG&E as it seeks to enhance the region’s quality of life.  SDG&E is a subsidiary of Sempra Energy (NYSE: SRE), a Fortune 500 energy services holding company based in San Diego.

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