Sempra Generation completes 48 MW photovoltaic solar power plant

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San Diego, December 2, 2010 – Sempra Generation, a unit of Sempra Energy, has completed construction on the largest photovoltaic solar power plant in the U.S.

The 48-MW Mountain Solar facility, located in Boulder City, Nev., about 40 miles southeast of Las Vegas, is now generating enough emission-free electricity to power about 14,000 average homes.

Construction on Copper Mountain Solar began in January 2010 at the 380-acre desert site. About 350 construction workers at peak installed nearly 775,000 thin-film photovoltaic solar panels, which convert sunlight directly into electricity.

First Solar of Tempe, Ariz., supplied the solar panels and served as the engineering, procurement and construction contractor.

The power from Copper Mountain Solar and Sempra Generation‘s adjacent 10-MW El Dorado Solar plant has been sold to Pacific Gas & Electric under separate 20-year contracts. California utilities are required to procure 20 percent of their energy supply from alternative sources by the end of 2010, increasing to 33 percent by 2020.

Sempra Generation is expanding its renewable energy portfolio throughout the Western U.S. The company expects to begin construction on the first phase of a 600-MW solar project in Arizona next year, and recently received approval to build a 200-MW solar farm in Kern County, Calif. The company also recently announced that it has become an equal partner with BP Wind Energy in the development of a 250-MW wind project in Colorado that is currently under construction.

Sempra Generation operates and maintains a fleet of natural gas-fueled power plants, and develops solar and wind facilities that serve U.S. markets. Sempra Energy, based in San Diego, is a Fortune 500 energy services holding company with 2009 revenues of more than $8 billion. The Sempra Energy companies’ 13,600 employees serve about 25 million consumers worldwide.

The Copper Mountain Solar facility is owned and operated by Copper Mountain Solar I, LLC; the El Dorado Solar plant is owned and operated by El Dorado Energy, LLC; and the proposed Mesquite Solar facility in Arizona will be owned and operated by Mesquite Solar 1, LLC, all subsidiaries of Sempra Generation.

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The Clarion Energy Content Team is made up of editors from various publications, including POWERGRID International, Power Engineering, Renewable Energy World, Hydro Review, Smart Energy International, and Power Engineering International. Contact the content lead for this publication at Jennifer.Runyon@ClarionEvents.com.

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