More than 150,000 multicrystalline solar panels from Suntech Power Holdings are now generating energy at two new solar power plants in central California.
The 15-megawatt (MW) plant in Five Points and the 20-MW facility in Helm were both built and engineered by Cupertino Electric Inc.’s Energy Alternatives Division.
Construction of the two fast-track projects began just this past April. Both plants were designed and built by Cupertino Electric for Pacific Gas and Electric Company (PG&E) under the utility’s five-year, 500MW clean-energy initiative.
“Solar is one of the fastest generation assets that you can build, as demonstrated by Cupertino Electric with these two well-designed and well-executed projects,” said Mick McDaniel, vice president of the utility sales division for Suntech America. “Although the economics will continue to improve, solar technology is ready today to provide cost-effective, large-scale solutions for electricity generation.”
Suntech is currently the world’s largest producer of solar panels for residential, commercial, industrial and utility applications.
PG&E’s 500MW clean-energy program calls for up to 250MW of utility-owned solar generation. With the opening of its 15MW Five Points station, 20MW Stroud station and 15MW Westside plant, the utility has now completed its first 50MW of utility-side solar power plant construction. It aims to build up to 50MW of new solar capacity per year through 2014.
Once completed, PG&E’s the solar PV program is expected to generate enough green power to meet the needs of about 150,000 homes in the northern and central California service area.