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Planned Project Would Become the Largest Photovoltaic Solar Installation in North America

Sempra Generation, a subsidiary of Sempra Energy, today announced its intention to construct a new 48-megawatt (MW) expansion of its existing photovoltaic power-generation facility near Boulder City, Nevavda, about 40 miles southeast of Las Vegas.

The combined 58-MW installation would become the largest operational photovoltaic solar-power facility in North America.

Construction will commence after Sempra Generation contracts to sell the facility's power output. The project could be operational by late 2010.

Sempra Generation has agreed that Tempe, Ariz.-based First Solar will be the engineering, procurement and construction contractor.

Upon completion, the project, called Copper Mountain Solar, will be capable of generating 48 MW of power, or enough electricity to supply more than 30,000 homes. Together with the existing 167,000 photovoltaic panels at the adjacent 10-MW facility, which was completed late last year, the facilities will utilize nearly 1 million photovoltaic panels.

"We look forward to continuing our efforts to help western utilities meet their goals for renewable energy," said Michael W. Allman, president and chief executive officer of Sempra Generation. "This would be our largest renewable energy project thus far and move us closer to our stated goal of becoming the first U.S. company to own 500 MW of solar power."

Unlike some solar projects, Sempra Generation's solar power plants do not use heated water or other liquids in the power-generation process. Solar facilities generate electricity during the day when customer demand typically peaks.

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