SAN FRANCISCO, Calif.—Pacific Gas and Electric Co. (PG&E) announced today that it has entered into a series of contracts with BrightSource Energy Inc. for a record total of 1,310 MW of solar thermal power. These power purchase agreements covering seven projects supersede the agreements PG&E executed with BrightSource in April 2008 for up to 900 MW of solar thermal power.
The first of these solar power plants, sized at 110 MW in Ivanpah, Calif., is contracted to begin operation in 2012. BrightSource will build and place in commercial operation each of its plants as quickly as permitting and infrastructure allow. All seven projects are expected to produce 3,666 gigawatt-hours of power each year, equal to the annual consumption of about 530,000 average homes.
“The solar thermal projects announced today exemplify PG&E’s commitment to increasing the amount of renewable energy we provide to our customers throughout northern and central California,” said John Conway, senior vice president of energy supply for PG&E. “Through these agreements with BrightSource, we can harness the sun’s energy to meet our customers’ power requirements when they need it most—during hot summer days.”
The agreements reflect technological milestones the BrightSource team has achieved during the past year, said John Woolard, BrightSource CEO.
“Our technology is setting the bar for efficient production of solar energy,” Woolard said. “We’re thrilled by the opportunity to help PG&E and other leaders bring energy customers more clean and reliable solar energy.”
Since 2002, PG&E has entered into contracts for more than 20 percent of its future electric power deliveries from renewable sources. On average, half of the electricity PG&E delivers to customers comes from carbon-free generating sources, making the company’s energy some of the cleanest in the nation.
BrightSource Energy Inc. provides clean, reliable and low-cost solar energy for utility and industrial companies worldwide. The BrightSource Energy team combines nearly three decades of experience designing, building and operating the world’s largest solar energy plants. The company now has contracted to sell more than 2,600 MW of power to be generated using its proprietary solar thermal technology. BrightSource Energy’s solar plants are designed to minimize their impact on the environment and help customers reduce dependence on fossil fuels. Headquartered in Oakland, Calif., BrightSource Energy is a privately held company with operations in the United States and Israel. To learn more, visit www.brightsourceenergy.com.
Pacific Gas and Electric Co., a subsidiary of PG&E Corp., is one of the largest combined natural gas and electric utilities in the United States. Based in San Francisco with 20,000 employees, the company delivers some of the nation’s cleanest energy to 15 million people in northern and central California. For more information, visit www.pge.com.