California PUC approves two renewable energy contracts

Sacramento, Calif., June 7, 2010 – The California Public Utilities Commission approved two renewable energy contracts for Pacific Gas and Electric Co. to help the utility meet its renewable energy requirements.

The PUC approved PG&E’s plan to buy power from NextLight Renewable Power LLC’s 290-MW Agua Caliente Solar facility in Yuma County, Arizona, through a 25-year power purchase agreement starting in 2014.

Financial terms of the Agua Caliente project were not available.

Industry sources estimate it costs about $6,200 per kilowatt to build a solar photovoltaic plant and $5,100 for a solar thermal plant, versus about $2,000 for onshore wind, $4,000 for nuclear, $2,200 for coal and $1,000 for combined-cycle natural gas.

The PUC also approved of a 25-year power purchase agreement with DTE Stockton LLC to buy energy from a fossil-to-biomass conversion project starting in 2013. DTE Stockton proposed to convert the existing 45-MW coal-fired facility into a biomass-burning plant.

California gets about 60 percent of its power from natural gas-fired plants, 15 percent from nuclear, 12 percent from renewable other than hydropower and about 10 percent from hydropower.

 

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