SDG&E Signs Renewable Energy Contracts for Nearly 200 MW of Green Energy

Since January 1, 2011, San Diego Gas & Electric (SDG&E) has added more than 1,200 megawatts (MW) of clean, green energy to its renewable portfolio. Today, the utility announced it has signed two more contracts: a 25-year power purchase agreement for 150 megawatts (MW) of solar power with Solar Gen 2 LLC and a one-year contract for 40 MW of geothermal energy with Silicon Valley Power.

Solar Gen 2 LLC is a private solar development company based in Greenwich, Conn., with offices in Folsom, California. The 150-MW solar project will be built in three, 50-MW phases at separate sites on fallowed land in the Imperial Valley, California. Delivery of power from the first phase is expected by next summer.

“We continue to add more diversity to the mix of green energy in our renewable portfolio,” said James P. Avery, SDG&E’s senior vice president of power supply. “This latest solar project will be transmitted across the Imperial Irrigation District (IID) transmission network to SDG&E and will get delivered to our customers and the Southern California region using the capacity of the Sunrise Powerlink and the help of the IID. With this agreement, we are broadening our partnership with the IID and helping to benefit the overall economy of the Imperial Valley—a true win-win all around.”

The project will use solar photovoltaic panels with single-axis tracking and is expected to generate about 361 gigawatt-hours per year on average over the length of the contract, which represents nearly 2 percent of SDG&E’s renewable portfolio over a full year.

“With SDG&E’s development of the Sunrise line, we and other renewable developers can take advantage of the Imperial Valley’s vast solar resource to benefit all of California,” said Steve Zaminski, chief executive officer of Solar Gen 2. “We are pleased and grateful for the confidence placed in us by both SDG&E and the IID. This project would not be possible without the leadership and vision of SDG&E’s and IID’s board and management.”

Silicon Valley Power (SVP) is a municipal utility that serves the City of Santa Clara, California. The one-year power contract for 40 MW of electricity generated by underground steam heat is expected to produce about 350 gigawatt-hours of electricity over the length of the agreement, which continues through June 2012. Starting July 1, SDG&E began taking delivery of the geothermal power, which comes from Silicon Valley Power’s ownership share of the geothermal units located in the Geysers region of Northern California.

“This contract is an example of the efforts SDG&E is making to comply with the near-term requirements as spelled out in new renewable legislation (SBX1 2),” said Avery. “This contract would add 1 percent to our RPS portfolio in both 2011 and 2012.”

“We are excited to be in a position to support SDG&E in their renewable efforts,” said Larry Owens, manager of customer services for Silicon Valley Power. “The proceeds from this contract agreement will go directly into investments of new renewable power for our city.”

Both contracts require approval by the California Public Utilities Commission. Since January, SDG&E has signed 14 new renewable contracts, for a combined total of 1,225 MW.

SDG&E is a regulated public utility that provides safe and reliable energy service to 3.5 million consumers through 1.4 million electric meters and more than 850,000 natural gas meters in San Diego and Southern Orange Counties. The utility’s area spans 4,100 square miles. SDG&E is committed to creating ways to help our customers save energy and money every day. SDG&E is a subsidiary of Sempra Energy (NYSE: SRE), a Fortune 500 energy services holding company based in San Diego.

Solar Gen 2 LLC is a solar development company focused on developing and acquiring solar energy projects in North America and with offices in Folsom, CA. and Greenwich, CT. We are committed to providing sustainable, green energy for an energy independent North America. For more information, contact Aaron F. Popejoy at (760) 355-1500.

Silicon Valley Power (SVP) is the trademark adopted for use by the century-old Electric Department of the City of Santa Clara, California. SVP provides power to more than 50,000 customers, including Applied Materials, Intel, National Semiconductor and Yahoo!, at rates 25 to 45 percent below neighboring communities. SVP also offers customers a 100 percent renewable energy option through its Santa Clara Green Power program and is an active participant in the wholesale energy markets in the Western United States.