San Diego Gas & Electric (SDG&E) announced that it has entered into two, long-term contracts to purchase 300 megawatts (MW) of renewable energy for its rapidly expanding portfolio of emissions free power.
The first of the new agreements is a 20-year contract to purchase 100 MW from Manzana Wind LLC, a 189 MW wind power facility currently under construction in the wind-rich Tehachapi region near Rosamond, Calif. Manzana Wind LLC, is a subsidiary of Iberdrola Renewables, Inc.
When completed in late 2012, the project will be comprised of 126, 1.5 MW wind turbines spread across 4,600 acres. The project represents a reduction in greenhouse gas emissions comparable to removing more than 21,500 cars off of California’s roads for one year.
SDG&E also has announced signing a 25-year agreement to purchase 200 MW of energy from the Mount Signal Solar project in Imperial Valley, Calif. The transaction was conducted with a subsidiary of 8minutenergy Renewables of Folsom, Calif., which has a joint development agreement with AES Solar of Arlington Va., to develop and build Mount Signal Solar. The first 100 MW of energy from the photovoltaic solar energy facility is expected to be on-line by mid-2013 with project completion slated for late 2013. When completed, the project will be comprised of photovoltaic modules supported by single-axis tracking structures. The electric output will be transported to market along SDG&E’s 117-mile Sunrise Powerlink transmission line that is currently under construction and slated for completion later this year.
Both contracts require approval from the California Public Utilities Commission.
“These contracts continue the significant momentum SDG&E has built over the past decade in acquiring valuable green energy resources,” said James P. Avery, senior vice president of power supply for SDG&E. “In 2011, renewable energy sources such as wind, solar, geothermal, biomass and hydroelectric represented more than 20 percent of the power provided to our 1.4 million electric customers. This is a terrific accomplishment given the fact that we had just one percent renewable power in our portfolio 10 years ago and about 12 percent renewables in our power portfolio in 2010. We are well on our way toward meeting the state’s goal and attaining 33 percent of our power from renewable sources in 2020.”
“The Mount Signal Solar project will deliver clean energy for over 72,000 households in SDG&E’s service area,” said Martin Hermann, chief executive officer for 8minutenergy Renewables. Tom Buttgenbach, president of 8minutenergy said: “This power agreement validates our strategy for developing solar energy in California while creating about 1,000 construction jobs in the Imperial Valley where the unemployment rate has been ranked among the highest in the nation.”
“Iberdrola Renewables is delighted to continue our relationship with SDG&E,” said Martin Mugica, executive vice president of Iberdrola Renewables. “This 100-MW power purchase agreement from our Manzana project now under construction in Kern County will strongly support SDG&E’s efforts in meeting California’s renewable portfolio standard requirements.”
Iberdrola Renewables, Inc. is the U.S. division of parent company, Iberdrola, S.A., an energy pioneer with the largest renewable asset base of any company in the world. Iberdrola, S.A. is Spain’s number one energy group and one of the five largest electricy companies in the world by market cap. A company with a 110-year history and roots in hydroelectric power, Iberdrola, S.A. employs over 33,000 people in more than 40 countries and has placed the environment and sustainable development at the center of its global strategy. Iberdrola Renewables Inc. is headquartered in Portland, Oregon, and currently operates approximately 5,000 MW of wind and employs more than 850 people in the U.S.
8minutenergy is a utility-scale solar developer with a portfolio totaling more than 2,000 MW of photovoltaic power. Seven hundred megawatts of these projects are in advanced development stages. All are located in California and meet “in-state” utility requirements. The projects are located on more than 15,000 acres of private land in California.
AES Solar was established in March 2008 as a joint venture between the AES Corporation (NYSE: AES) and Riverstone Holdings LLC. The company develops, owns and operates utility-scale solar power plants. With 256 MW of projects in operation and construction and a significant project pipeline it has grown to become one of the leading global solar power producers, with presence in Europe, North America and Asia.
SDG&E is a regulated public utility that provides safe and reliable energy service to 3.6 million consumers through 1.4 million electric meters and more than 850,000 natural gas meters in San Diego and southern Orange counties. The utility’s area spans 4,100 square miles. SDG&E is committed to creating ways to help customers save energy and money every day.
SDG&E is a subsidiary of Sempra Energy (NYSE: SRE). Sempra Energy, based in San Diego, is a Fortune 500 energy services holding company with 2010 revenues of $9 billion. The Sempra Energy companies’ 17,500 employees serve more than 31 million consumers worldwide.