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PG&E Signs Historic 800 MW Photovoltaic Solar Power Agreements With OptiSolar and SunPower


Pacific Gas and Electric Company today announced it has entered into two utility-scale, photovoltaic (PV) solar power contracts for a total of 800 megawatts (MW) of renewable energy. This significant commitment to photovoltaic technology will deliver cumulatively 1.65 billion kilowatt-hours of renewable energy annually. This would be equivalent to the amount of energy needed to serve approximately 239,000 residential homes each year.

PG&E entered into an agreement with Topaz Solar Farms LLC, a subsidiary of OptiSolar Inc., for 550 MW of thin-film PV solar power. The utility also signed a contract with High Plains Ranch II, LLC, a subsidiary of SunPower Corporation, for 250 MW of high-efficiency PV solar power.

"These landmark agreements signal the arrival of utility-scale PV solar power that may be cost-competitive with solar thermal and wind energy," said Jack Keenan, chief operating officer and senior vice president for PG&E. "We will continue to explore such innovative technologies as we aggressively work to increase the amount of renewable energy we provide our customers."

Utility-scale PV solar projects feature photovoltaic solar modules, which convert sunlight directly into electricity and produce the greatest amounts of power during the afternoons, when electricity demand is high. Both projects are contingent upon the extension of the federal investment tax credit for renewable energy and processes to expedite transmission needs.

Over the past six years, PG&E has entered into contracts for more than 3,600 MW of renewable power, including solar contracts that total more than 2,500 MW. PG&E now has contractual commitments for more than 24 percent of its future power deliveries from renewables, including wind, biomass and geothermal.





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