California's PG&E Announces 500 MW Solar Initiative

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California utility PG&E has been a reluctant investor in renewable energy — until now. The utility announced yesterday a five-year plan to produce 500 MW of solar energy from a collection of midsize projects located in Northern and Central California. That’s enough power for 150,000 homes and 1.3 percent of PG&E’s electrical demands.. The solar panels will be mounted on rooftops and utility poles.

PG&E’s last major direct investment in renewable energy was 10 years ago. Since then, it has only bought electricity from third party sources.

The utility’s new project should help California reach its goal of 33 percent renewable energy by 2020. The plan is expected to be approved by the state’s Public Utilities Commission later this year and will likely be implemented by 2015.

Photo Credit: NREL


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