Pacific Gas and Electric Company (PG&E) recently entered into a series of substantial solar power contracts with BrightSource Energy Inc. The first three contracts represent a total of 500 MW of power derived from three solar thermal projects, and PG&E has also signed two contracts for options on an additional 400 MW of solar power – prospectively increasing the total power purchase to 900 MW.
The first of these solar power plants, sized at 100 MW in Ivanpah, Calif., could be operating as early as 2011 and is expected to produce 246,000 MWh of renewable electricity per year, PG&E says. BrightSource adds that it will build and place in commercial operation each of its plants as quickly as permitting and infrastructure allow.
PG&E has filed the contracts with the California Public Utilities Commission. For 2008, the utility expects to have 14% of its energy delivered from renewable sources.
‘Through these agreements with BrightSource, we continue to broaden our renewable energy portfolio and provide our customers with some of the cleanest energy in the nation,’ comments Fong Wan, vice president of energy procurement at PG&E.