Sempra Generation announces first solar energy project

Upon completion, 10-Megawatt Nevada photovoltaic facility will be largest operational ‘thin-film’ installation in North America

Jul 24, 2008

Media Contact:
Art Larson

Financial Contact:
Glen Donovan

Sempra Energy

Sempra Energy

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        SAN DIEGO, July 24, 2008 – Sempra Generation, a subsidiary of Sempra Energy (NYSE: SRE), today announced the development of the company’s first solar energy project, a 10-megawatt (MW) photovoltaic power-generation facility adjacent to the company’s existing El Dorado Energy power plant near Boulder City, Nev., about 40 miles southeast of Las Vegas.  
 
        When completed later this year, the El Dorado Energy solar project will be the largest operational thin-film, solar-power project in North America.  Arizona-based First Solar (NASDAQ: FSLR) will be the engineering, procurement and construction contractor for the project and will monitor and maintain the plant.  

         First Solar’s modules employ an advanced thin-film semiconductor technology to convert sunlight into electricity without air emissions or water use.  The solar modules absorb low light more efficiently than conventional solar panels and convert the sunlight into electricity even in cloudy weather and dawn and dusk conditions.  As a result, First Solar modules will generally produce more electricity under real-world conditions than conventional solar modules with similar power ratings.
 
        “This new solar project is another step in Sempra Generation’s long-range plan to emerge as a leading renewable-energy developer,” said Michael W. Allman, president and chief executive officer of Sempra Generation. “The combination of Sempra Generation’s experience in developing power-generation projects in the region with First Solar’s expertise in advanced, thin-film photovoltaic solutions is a natural fit.  We look forward to helping the region’s utilities meet state requirements calling for them to include solar, wind and other renewable energy sources in their power portfolios. ”
 
        Additional expansion phases of the project are under consideration and Sempra Generation is in the process of enlisting potential customers for the project’s power.
 
        The project will be located on about 80 acres adjacent to El Dorado Energy’s existing 480-MW natural gas-fired power plant.
 
        Unlike some solar power projects, El Dorado Energy’s solar power plant will not use heated water or other liquids in the power-generation process.  As with other solar projects, the new Sempra Generation facility will generate electricity during the day when customer demand typically peaks.
 
        "We are proud and excited to host Sempra Generation’s new solar energy project," said Boulder City Mayor Roger Tobler.  "When Boulder City decided several years ago to allocate roughly 3,000 acres for the development of an Energy Zone, this is exactly the kind of project we anticipated.”
 
 “We are pleased to be working with Sempra Generation on its first large-scale solar power plant,” said Mike Ahearn, chief executive officer of First Solar.  “By making this commitment to develop regional renewable electric generation, Sempra Generation is moving us closer to our collective climate protection goals.”
 
        Formed in 1999, First Solar is a worldwide industry leader in thin-film photovoltaic solar-module manufacturing with 2007 revenues of more than $500 million.
 
        Sempra Generation operates and maintains a fleet of power plants serving the U.S. market and is in the process of developing a solar and wind power projects in the Pacific Southwest.  Sempra Energy, based in San Diego, is a Fortune 500 energy services holding company with 2007 revenues of more than $11 billion.  The Sempra Energy companies’ 13,500 employees serve more than 29 million consumers worldwide.

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Sempra Generation is not the same company as the utilities, SDG&E or SoCalGas, and is not regulated by the California Public Utilities Commission.