PG&E Completes Three Solar Projects to Deliver More Clean Energy to Customers Utility Celebrates New Facilities in Fresno County with 50 Megawatts of Total Capacity
Release Date: September 29, 2011
Contact: PG&E External Communications (415) 973-5930
FIVE POINTS, Calif. – Pacific Gas and Electric Company (PG&E) today dedicated three new solar photovoltaic (PV) generating stations, totaling 50 megawatts (MW), as the first phase of an innovative, five-year program to speed up the delivery of more clean energy to its customers. Congressman Jim Costa, local officials, residents, labor groups and project suppliers joined PG&E at the event, which took place at the Westside Solar Station located near the community of Five Points in Fresno County.
"Every new solar project takes California one step closer to a solar future marked by cleaner air and energy independence," said Governor Edmund G. Brown Jr.
"PG&E is delighted to see our first utility-scale and -owned solar PV projects move from construction to completion," said Chris Johns, President of Pacific Gas and Electric Company. "These facilities demonstrate our continuing commitment to deliver renewable electricity to our customers. As California moves into its clean energy future, programs like this are providing local benefits, including green jobs, for the communities we serve."
Under its 500-MW program, PG&E is building up to 250 MW of utility-owned solar PV projects in its service area. The plan also calls for independent developers to construct up to 250 MW of additional solar PV facilities. All projects in the combined program will be 20 MW or less in size, which should require less time to plan and build than large solar plants that can face lengthy delays. Once complete, the solar PV program will generate enough green power to meet the needs of about 150,000 homes in PG&E's Northern and Central California service area.
The 15-MW Westside Solar Station joins the 20-MW Stroud Solar Station and the 15-MW Five Points Solar Station, all in Fresno County, as the first 50 MW built under the utility side of the program. PG&E expects to construct up to 50 MW of new solar capacity per year through 2014.
"Today's dedication of three new solar photovoltaic generation stations is yet another step toward reducing our dependency on foreign sources of energy. We can diversify our energy portfolio and maintain millions of acres of agricultural land by supporting smart projects like these," Congressman Costa said.
The three solar projects were built using the skills of local union labor and diverse suppliers. On average, the facilities took six months to construct. They are currently delivering clean power to the grid.
Cupertino Electric, Inc. was selected by PG&E through a competitive solicitation as the primary contractor for the Westside and Stroud Solar Stations. SOLON Corporation, also chosen through a competitive solicitation, built the Five Points Solar Station. It is a U.S.-based subsidiary of Germany's SOLON SE.
Pacific Gas and Electric Company, a subsidiary of PG&E Corporation (NYSE:PCG), 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 http://www.pge.com/about/newsroom/.
Additional information about the projects:
Westside Solar Station
The 15-MW project spans 100 acres and has 66,240 ground-mounted solar panels. Cupertino Electric built the facility with labor provided by International Brotherhood of Electric Workers (IBEW) Local 1245. M.J. Avila, a local minority, woman-owned company, working in conjunction with Operating Engineers Local Union Number 3, prepared the site for construction.
Stroud Solar Station
The 20-MW facility encompasses 123 acres and has 88,800 ground-mounted solar panels. Cupertino Electric built the project with labor provided by IBEW Local 1245. Ahtna Government Services, a Native-Alaskan corporation, prepared the location for construction.
Five Points Solar Station
The 15-MW project spans 105 acres and has 75,528 ground-mounted solar panels. SOLON Corp. hired Milender-White, a Native American firm from Colorado, to build the Five Points project using IBEW Local 1245 workers. M.J. Avila, a local minority, woman-owned company, working in conjunction with Operating Engineers Local Union Number 3, prepared the site