SAN DIEGO, Calif., Oct. 12, 2010 – Sempra Generation today announced that, through a subsidiary, it has entered into a 20-year power-purchase agreement with Pacific Gas & Electric Co. (PG&E) to sell 150 megawatts (MW) of solar power produced at its Mesquite Solar I project.
Mesquite Solar I is the first phase of Sempra Generation’s planned Mesquite Solar complex in Arlington, Ariz., located about 40 miles west of Phoenix. Sempra Generation controls sufficient land to build up to 600 MW of solar power at the site, which would make it the largest photovoltaic solar power plant in North America. The solar installation will connect to the power grid at the nearby Hassayampa switchyard, a major energy hub that provides access to consumer markets throughout the Western U.S.
When completed in early 2013, Mesquite Solar I will produce enough emission-free electricity to power approximately 56,000 average homes.
“PG&E continues to demonstrate remarkable leadership in promoting the use of alternative forms of energy, and we are pleased to partner with them again to deliver new supplies of solar power to their customers,” said Jeffrey W. Martin, president and chief executive officer of Sempra Generation. “Mesquite Solar represents a major step forward for Sempra Generation as we continue down the path toward our goal of becoming the first company in the U.S. to own and operate 500 megawatts of solar energy.”
Construction on Mesquite Solar I is expected to begin in 2011, creating approximately 300 construction jobs at peak and as many as 10 long-term positions to operate the facility.
The electricity generated at Mesquite Solar I could reduce greenhouse gas emissions by approximately 190,000 tons each year, the equivalent of taking 33,000 cars off the road. The facility will use photovoltaic solar panel technology, which does not require water to generate electricity. This water conservation feature makes it a project highly suitable for the arid U.S. Southwest.
Mesquite Solar I is Sempra Generation’s third solar energy project. The 10-MW El Dorado Solar facility was built in 2008 and the 48-MW Copper Mountain Solar project will be completed by the end of 2010. Both facilities are located in Boulder City, Nev., and, when finished, will be the largest photovoltaic solar power installation in the U.S.
The power-purchase contract with PG&E for Mesquite Solar I is subject to approval by the California Public Utilities Commission.
Sempra Generation operates and maintains a fleet of natural gas-fueled power plants, and is a leading developer of solar and wind facilities that serve U.S. markets. Sempra Energy (NYSE: SRE), based in San Diego, is a Fortune 500 energy services holding company with 2009 revenues of more than $8 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, www.sec.gov and on the company’s Web site, at www.sempra.com.
Mesquite Solar I will be owned and operated by SGS-1, LLC; Copper Mountain Solar facility is owned and operated by Copper Mountain Solar I, LLC; and El Dorado Solar is owned and operated by El Dorado Energy, LLC; all subsidiaries of Sempra Generation.
Sempra Generation is not the same company as the utility, San Diego Gas & Electric (SDG&E) or Southern California Gas Company (SoCalGas), and Sempra Generation is not regulated by the California Public Utilities Commission.