Well, local utility PG&E (remember writing out Pigs, Giraffes and Elephants as the payee when making your monthly payment, back when we still used checks? Good times) had a big, big news conference today about solar power projects – that should help them meet state requirements regarding renewable energy.
Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger approves of this trend, anyway. And it’s a shot in the arm for the photovoltaics (PV) industry. Read on for more deets and selected quotes.
Here’s what it looked like this morning, with PG&E Chairman of the Board, Chief Executive Officer and President Peter Darbee and Senior Vice President of Energy Procurement Fong Wan making the announcement:
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PG&E Launches 500 Megawatt Solar Power Initiative
Utility-Owned and Independent Projects Would Speed Customer Access to Cleaner Energy
Pacific Gas and Electric Company (PG&E) today announced plans for a five-year program to develop up to 500 megawatts (MW) of clean solar photovoltaic (PV) power in its northern and central California service area, one of the largest undertakings of its kind in the country.
The proposed program consists of up to 250 MW of utility-owned PV generation – PG&E’s first direct investment in renewable generation in over a decade – and an additional 250 MW to be built and owned by independent developers under a streamlined regulatory process. PG&E is submitting its plan today to the California Public Utilities Commission for approval, which could come later this year.
If all projects are up and running by 2015, they are expected to deliver more than 1,000 gigawatt hours of power each year, equal to the annual consumption of about 150,000 average homes. In all, this program would meet over 1.3 percent of PG&E’s electric demand.
“I applaud PG&E for its commitment to making a direct investment in clean, renewable solar energy generation that will eventually power tens of thousands of California homes,” said Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger. “By bringing renewables online as quickly as possible and advancing the development of green technologies, this effort will advance California’s aggressive push to meet our long-term energy and climate change goals while keeping California on the leading edge of this booming industry.”
“This program represents an unprecedented commitment of our capital and expertise to speed the delivery of clean, renewable energy to our customers,” said PG&E CEO and President Peter Darbee. “With many renewable-energy projects delayed, we can’t afford business as usual when it comes to protecting the environment and meeting our customers’ expectations.”
More deets after the jump