Published on February 21st, 2012 | by Zachary Shahan0
300 New MW of Clean, Renewable Energy for SDG&E
San Diego Gas & Electric (SD&E), a subsidiary of the Fortune-500 company Sempra Energy, has recently confirmed two long-term contracts to purchase a total of 300 megawatts (MW) of renewable energy from 8minutenergy and from Manzana Wind LLC, a subsidiary of Iberdrola Renewables, Inc.
Mount Signal Solar Project in Imperial County, CA
8minutenergy will be selling 200 megawatts (200MWac) of solar energy from the Mount Signal Solar project in Imperial Valley, California to SDG&E under a 25-year contract.
“The Mount Signal Solar project is a large, utility-scale solar generation facility sited on 1,940 of low-productivity farmland in the Imperial Valley, Calif,” 8minutenergy writes.
“The Mount Signal Solar project will ultimately create nearly 1,000 direct and indirect jobs in an area with high unemployment, and produce renewable energy that will further SDG&E’s goal of helping the state meet its 33 percent RPS mandate,” said Tom Buttgenbach, president of 8minutenergy Renewables.
This is in an area, Imperial Valley, which currently has an astounding unemployment rate of approximately 30%, one of the highest in the country.
The Mount Signal Solar project is projected to generate enough electricity for 72,000 houses (500 million kWhs per year) and is scheduled to start delivering power to SDG&E in mid-2013.
“This clean solar generation plant will displace the equivalent of approximately 356,000 metric tons of carbon dioxide (CO2) per year, which is equal to the amount that roughly 15 million trees would displace annually.”
Manzana Wind Project
The Manzana wind project is a 189-MW wind farm currently under construction in the Tehachapi region of California, near Rosamond. The contract with SDG&E is for 100 MW of wind power and goes for 20 years.
“When completed in late 2012, the project will be comprised of 126, 1.5 MW wind turbines spread across 4,600 acres,” SDG&E notes. “The project represents a reduction in greenhouse gas emissions comparable to removing more than 21,500 cars off of California’s roads for one year.”
“These contracts continue the significant momentum SDG&E has built over the past decade in acquiring valuable green energy resources,” said James P. Avery, senior vice president of power supply for SDG&E. “In 2011, renewable energy sources such as wind, solar, geothermal, biomass and hydroelectric represented more than 20 percent of the power provided to our 1.4 million electric customers. This is a terrific accomplishment given the fact that we had just one percent renewable power in our portfolio 10 years ago and about 12 percent renewables in our power portfolio in 2010. We are well on our way toward meeting the state’s goal and attaining 33 percent of our power from renewable sources in 2020.”
Photo: solar panels via SDG&E