Sempra Generation proposes new 48-megawatt solar energy plant

Planned project would become the largest operational photovoltaic solar installation in North America

Apr 15, 2009

Media Contact:
Hanan Eisenman/Art Larson

Financial Contact:
Glen Donovan

Sempra Energy

Sempra Energy

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        SAN DIEGO, April 15, 2009 – Sempra Generation, a subsidiary of Sempra Energy (NYSE: SRE), today announced its intention to construct a new 48-megawatt (MW) expansion of its existing photovoltaic power-generation facility near Boulder City, Nev., about 40 miles southeast of Las Vegas.  

        The combined 58-MW installation would become the largest operational photovoltaic solar-power facility in North America. 

        Construction will commence after Sempra Generation contracts to sell the facility’s power output.  The project could be operational by late 2010.

        Sempra Generation has agreed that Tempe, Ariz.-based First Solar will be the engineering, procurement and construction contractor.

        Upon completion, the project, called Copper Mountain Solar, will be capable of generating 48 MW of power, or enough electricity to supply more than 30,000 homes.  Together with the existing 167,000 photovoltaic panels at the adjacent 10-MW facility, which was completed late last year, the facilities will utilize nearly 1 million photovoltaic panels. 
     
        “We look forward to continuing our efforts to help western utilities meet their goals for renewable energy,” said Michael W. Allman, president and chief executive officer of Sempra Generation.  “This would be our largest renewable energy project thus far and move us closer to our stated goal of becoming the first U.S. company to own 500 MW of solar power.”

        Unlike some solar projects, Sempra Generation’s solar power 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, 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. 
 
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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 IDEA system without charge at the SEC’s Web site, www.sec.gov and on the company’s Web site, at www.sempra.com.

Sempra Pipelines & Storage, Sempra Generation, Sempra LNG and Sempra Commodities  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 Sempra Commodities are not regulated by the California Public Utilities Commission.