The proposed Genesis Solar Energy Project will be comprised of two 125-megawatt units. Once both units are fully operational, the project is expected to produce approximately 560 gigawatt-hours of renewable electricity each year. This is equal to the annual usage of more than 80,000 homes.
"This agreement is an important step forward in the development of solar power in California," said Mitch Davidson, president and CEO of NextEra Energy Resources. "With increasing concerns about greenhouse gases, solar electricity can have a meaningful impact in reducing carbon dioxide emissions. In addition to clean energy, this project will create jobs and many positive economic impacts for Riverside County."
"Solar energy is a reliable and environmentally-friendly way to help meet California`s peak energy demands," said Fong Wan, senior vice president for energy procurement at PG&E. "Through our agreement with NextEra Energy, we will significantly increase the amount of clean, renewable energy we provide to our customers in the years to come."
This is NextEra Energy Resources first contract to sell solar power to PG&E, and it is subject to approval by the California Public Utilities Commission. In August, NextEra Energy Resources filed an Application for Certification with the California Energy Commission (CEC) to construct, own and operate this 250-megawatt solar plant in the Sonoran Desert. In addition, NextEra Energy Resources has filed for a right-of-way grant with the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) for this project.
For the Genesis Project, NextEra Energy Resources plans to utilize proven and scalable parabolic trough solar thermal technology that has been used commercially for more than two decades. NextEra Energy Resources has nearly 20 years of experience operating similar technology at its SEGS solar facilities in the Mojave Desert.
The proposed Genesis Solar Energy Project will be located on an approximately 1,800-acre site between Desert Center and Blythe, on land managed by the BLM in Riverside County, California. The more than 500,000 parabolic mirrors will be assembled in rows to receive and concentrate the solar energy to produce steam for powering a steam turbine generator. Genesis is one of about a dozen solar projects identified by BLM for fast track consideration to receive permits by the end of 2010.
Assuming timely regulatory approvals, NextEra Energy Resources plans to start construction on the project late in 2010 with operations expected to begin approximately 30 months later. Once complete, this project will reduce the emissions of CO2 by approximately 500,000 tons per year, when compared to a high-efficiency natural gas plant. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency
estimates this is the equivalent of removing about 83,000 passenger vehicles from the road each year.
The recently filed Application for Certification with the CEC is the latest example of NextEra Energy Resources ongoing leadership and commitment to renewable energy generation. This is the second Application for Certification the company has filed with the CEC. In March 2008, NextEra Energy Resources filed an Application for Certification with the CEC for the 250-megawatt Beacon Solar Project to be located in eastern Kern County. The company is waiting for a final determination from the CEC on its pending application.
In addition to being the largest operator of solar power in the United States with 310 megawatts, NextEra Energy Resources, through its subsidiaries, is also the largest owner and operator of wind power in the country with more than 6,600 megawatts currently in operation. NextEra Energy subsidiaries also currently own and operate nearly 700 megawatts of wind in California.
NextEra Energy Resources is a clean energy leader and one of the largest competitive energy suppliers in North America. A subsidiary of Juno Beach, Fla.-based FPL Group (NYSE: FPL), NextEra Energy Resources is the largest generator in North America of renewable energy from the wind energy and solar energy. It operates clean, emissions-free nuclear power generation facilities in New Hampshire, Iowa and Wisconsin as part of the FPL Group nuclear fleet, which is the third largest in the U.S. FPL Group had 2008 revenues of more than $16 billion, approximately 39,000 megawatts of generating capacity, and more than 15,000 employees in 27 states and Canada. For more information, visit these Web sites: