State regulators approve SDG&E solar power initiative

Sep 2, 2010

Media Contact:
Art Larson

Financial Contact:
Glen Donovan

San Diego Gas & Electric

Sempra Energy

(877) 866-2066

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        The California Public Utilities Commission today approved a San Diego Gas & Electric (SDG&E) solar power initiative that provides for 100 megawatts (MW) of photovoltaic (PV) solar energy.

        Under the initiative, 26 MW of utility-owned generation would be slated for construction on existing SDG&E property, with the remaining 74 MW to be purchased from independent power producers.

        The initiative could more than double the approximately 80 MW of solar power currently generated in the utility’s service territory.

        The program calls for SDG&E to install and procure renewable solar power using projects primarily in the one to two megawatt range and also provides for PV solar installations ranging from less than a megawatt up to 5 MW.  In addition to developing its own local solar projects, SDG&E will solicit power purchase agreements for solar power at other sites in the region.  

        SDG&E’s local solar initiative is designed to complement the 1 MW or less solar projects currently developed under the direction of the California Solar Initiative. 

        A megawatt is enough power to serve approximately 650 homes. 

        According to today’s decision, the preferred location of these new solar arrays will help meet anticipated high power demand and/or assist in minimizing congestion on SDG&E’s power grid.

        “Today’s decision reflects the ongoing need for a flexible portfolio of solar resources and options that will help SDG&E derive one-third of its energy from renewable sources by 2020,” said James P. Avery, senior vice president of power supply.  “This program is beneficial because it further expands our solar power footprint within our service territory and brings that clean, renewable power closer to the areas of greatest demand.”
        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.  SDG&E is committed to creating ways to help our customers save energy and money every day.  SDG&E is a subsidiary of Sempra Energy (NYSE: SRE), a Fortune 500 energy services holding company based in San Diego.