PG&E Signs Agreement With Solel for 553 Megawatts of Solar Power
Pacific Gas and
Electric Company announced today that it has entered into a landmark
renewable energy agreement with Solel-MSP-1 to purchase renewable energy
from the Mojave Solar Park, to be constructed in California's Mojave
Desert. The project will deliver 553 megawatts of solar power, the
equivalent of powering 400,000 homes, to PG&E's customers in northern and
central California. The Mojave Solar Park project is now the world's
largest single solar commitment.
"The solar thermal project announced today is another major milestone
in realizing our goal to supply 20 percent of our customers' energy needs
with clean renewable energy," said Fong Wan, vice president of Energy
Procurement, PG&E. "Through the agreement with Solel, we can harness the
sun's climate-friendly power to provide our customers with reliable and
cost-effective energy on an unprecedented scale."
The plant utilizes Solel's patented and commercially-proven solar
thermal parabolic trough technology. Over the past 20 years, the technology
has powered nine operating solar power plants in the Mojave Desert and is
currently generating 354 MW of annual electricity. When fully operational
in 2011, the Mojave Solar Park plant will cover up to 6,000 acres, or nine
square miles in the Mojave Desert. The project will rely on 1.2 million
mirrors and 317 miles of vacuum tubing to capture the desert sun's heat.
"We are thrilled to bring 553 MW of clean energy to California," said
Avi Brenmiller, chief executive officer of Solel Solar Systems. "Our proven
solar technology means Solel can economically turn the energy of the warm
California sun into clean power for the state's homes and businesses."
Solel Solar Systems
of Israel, the world's largest solar thermal
company, is the parent company of Solel-MSP-1 LLC. Solel's leading
technology utilizes parabolic mirrors to concentrate solar energy onto its
patented UVAC 2008 solar thermal receivers. The receivers contain a fluid
that is heated and circulated, and the heat is released to generate steam.
The steam powers a turbine to produce electricity, which can be delivered
to a utility's electric grid. The electricity generated by Mojave Solar
Park will use some of the transmission infrastructure originally built for
the now dormant coal-fired Mojave Generation Station to deliver the power
to PG&E's customers.
The agreement filed today with the California Public Utilities
Commission is part of PG&E's broader renewable energy portfolio. PG&E
currently supplies 12 percent of its energy from qualifying renewable
sources under California's Renewable Portfolio Standard (RPS) program. With
more than 50 percent of the energy PG&E delivers to its customers coming
from generating sources that emit no carbon dioxide, PG&E provides among
the cleanest energy in the nation.
is aggressively adding renewable electric power resources to its
supply and is on target to exceed 20 percent under contract or delivered by
2010. With the Solel-MSP-1 announcement, and other recently signed
renewable agreements, PG&E now has contracts to provide 18 percent of its
future energy supply from renewable sources. PG&E has recently signed
several other renewable energy agreements including an 85 MW wind project
with PPM Energy, 7 MW of utility-scale solar projects with Cleantech
America and GreenVolts, and a 25.5 MW contract with Western GeoPower, Inc.
for a new geothermal energy facility in Sonoma County, California. PG&E is
seeking regulatory approval of these five renewable energy contracts.
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