Feb. 11, 2011
Over the past two weeks, two California utilities inked deals for some mega-projects on the renewable energy front, and New York's Con Edison announced

Over the past two weeks, two California utilities inked deals for some mega-projects on the renewable energy front, and New York's Con Edison announced some growth on the solar front. Following are some summaries of those projects.

San Diego Gas & Electric signs on for 315MW wind farm

San Diego Gas & Electric (SDG&E) and Pattern Energy inked a 20-year contract for 315MW of wind energy to be generated at Pattern's Ocotillo Wind Energy Facility near Ocotillo, Calif., approximately 25 miles west of El Centro in the Imperial Valley. If all government approvals are provided on a timely basis, Pattern Energy plans to complete the project by the end of 2012 to coincide with a 2012 in-service date for the 500kV Sunrise Powerlink transmission line, currently under construction.

This project will produce enough renewable wind energy to serve more than 130,000 households a year. This is the fourth renewable contract, totaling 600MW, that SDG&E has signed in the past nine months that will be transmitted across the Sunrise Powerlink. With the addition of this contract with Pattern Energy, half of the 600MW is for wind energy and half is for solar energy in the Imperial Valley. SDG&E has committed to obtaining 33 percent of its electricity from renewable resources by 2020.

ProLogis' warehouse PV systems go online in Southern California

Seven new solar power plants capable of providing electricity for 8,125 average homes are now online for Southern California Edison (SCE) customers. The newest solar photovoltaic installations, located in Ontario and Redlands, Calif., have a combined peak generating capacity of 12.5 million watts (AC). The Ontario installations involved four solar stations on 1.8 million square feet of leased warehouse roofs owned by ProLogis. The 32,950 solar photovoltaic panels SCE has installed in Ontario are capable of generating 5.5 million watts (AC) of power.

SCE and First Solar partner on 250MW PV project

SCE also signed a power purchase agreement with First Solar for 250MW of electricity to be generated with solar panels. The solar panels will be ground-mounted on about 2,500 acres of public land near Primm, Nev. First Solar is developing the project, named Silver State South, which will interconnect with SCE's proposed Eldorado-Ivanpah 220-kilovolt transmission line. The project is expected to begin producing electricity as early as 2014 and be fully operational by May 2017.

Con Edison sees sizeable increase in New York solar installations

Solar power more than doubled in New York City and Westchester County last year as Con Edison customers installed 4.5 MW of photovoltaic generation. Con Edison, which is working with the City University of New York (CUNY) on the U.S. Department of Energy's Solar America City program, now has 8.5 MW of photovoltaic-generated electricity on its system. One megawatt can power up to 1,000 homes. Customers completed 203 solar projects last year, up from 134 new installations a year earlier.