SAN DIEGO, June 15, 2010 – Sempra Generation announced today that the first 8-megawatt (MW) block of solar panels at its Copper Mountain Solar facility has been installed, and is delivering renewable electricity to the power grid.
Construction on the 48-MW photovoltaic solar installation located in Boulder City, Nev., about 40 miles southeast of Las Vegas, began in January. Sempra Generation anticipates that the project will be fully operational in late 2010.
“We are pleased to reach this major milestone so quickly, and we look forward to completing the project later this year,” said Jeffrey W. Martin, chief executive officer of Sempra Generation. “Copper Mountain Solar is delivering a new supply of clean, renewable power to California residents, while creating hundreds of construction jobs.”
The clean energy project will create approximately 300 construction jobs at peak and four long-term positions.
The power from Copper Mountain Solar and Sempra Generation’s adjacent 10-MW El Dorado Solar plant is being provided to Pacific Gas & Electric (PG&E) under separate 20-year contracts. When complete, the combined 58-MW installation will be the largest operational photovoltaic solar-power facility in the U.S. Together, the two facilities will utilize nearly 1 million thin-film photovoltaic panels supplied by First Solar of Tempe, Ariz. First Solar also serves as the engineering, procurement and construction contractor.
“When it comes to renewable energy development, Nevada – and especially Boulder City – is open for business,” said Martin. “Boulder City’s vision to create a regional center for renewable energy, coupled with progressive utilities like PG&E that are seeking out cleaner power for customers make these solar projects a reality.”
Sempra Generation is expanding its renewable energy portfolio throughout the Western U.S. It has secured permits for a massive new solar facility in Arizona called Mesquite Solar that could produce up to 600 MW of electricity. The company also is pursing additional solar installations in California along with wind power projects in Baja California, Mexico, and Hawaii.
Sempra Generation has set a goal to become the first company in the U.S. to own and operate 500 MW of solar.
“We’ve set our sights on becoming one of the leading clean energy developers in the U.S.,” said Martin. “It is a focused effort. And our track record of successfully developing renewable projects on time along with a solid balance sheet puts us in a strong position to reach this goal.”
Sempra Generation operates and maintains a fleet of natural gas-fueled power plants, and develops 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.
The Copper Mountain Solar facility is owned and operated by Copper Mountain Solar I, LLC; the El Dorado Solar plant is owned and operated by El Dorado Energy, LLC; and the proposed Mesquite Solar facility in Arizona will be owned and operated by SGS-1, 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.