Market Research and Insight

Pacific Gas and Electric Company (PG&E) has inked a 25-year deal to buy 150 megawatts (MW) of renewable power from Sempra Generation’s Copper Mountain...

Pacific Gas and Electric Company (PG&E) has inked a 25-year deal to buy 150 megawatts (MW) of renewable power from Sempra Generation’s Copper Mountain Solar complex in Boulder City, Nevada.

Photovoltaic solar module producer First Solar will provide the ground-mounted thin film panels for the project, and will also serve as the engineering, procurement and construction contractor.

The first 92 MW of solar panels at Copper Mountain Solar 2 are expected to be installed by January 2013, with the remaining 58 MW set for completion by 2015.  When fully developed, Copper Mountain Solar 2 should generate enough clean energy to meet the power needs of around 45,000 households. Under the terms of the contract, PG&E has the option to accelerate the commercial operation date of the second phase.

Copper Mountain Solar 2 represents one step in Sempra Generation’s goal of building 1,000 MW of new renewable capacity by 2015. Construction on the 1,100-acre solar plant is scheduled to begin in early 2012.

Sempra Generation and First Solar have worked together on two other large-scale solar projects in Nevada, including Copper Mountain Solar 1. The 48-MW installation was completed in late 2010 and is currently the largest photovoltaic solar power plant in the US.  PG&E is currently delivering the power produced at the plant to its customers.

The power supply contract between Sempra Generation and PG&E is subject to approval by the California Public Utilities Commission.

Dan Ilett