Utility looking to add solar and wind power
The first contract is a 20-year 100 MW agreement with Manzana Wind Power Project to purchase power from Manzana’s 189 MW wind power facility currently under construction. The power plant will be about 55 miles north of Los Angeles near Rosamond, California in the Tehachapi Mountain range. The Tehachapis are home to the Tehachapi Pass Wind Farm, the largest wind farm in the country.
The second contract is a 25-year agreement to buy 200 MW from the Mount Signal Solar Farm in Imperial Valley, California, a project of 8minutenergy. 8minutenergy is a California based company with a portfolio of solar projects generating over 2,000 MW of power. The total production of 8minutenergy will ultimately be able to power over one million households in California. Currently under construction, the first available production from the Mount Signal Solar Farm is expected to come online by mid-2013. And, yes, the name of the company comes from how long it takes light to travel from the surface of the sun to the earth.
Renewable energy has become a much more significant contributor to SDG&E’s power generation capabilities. 10 years ago renewable energy made up one percent of their portfolio. Renewable energy now contributes 20 percent, and the goal is to achieve 33 percent renewable power by 2020. As photovoltaic cells improve and wind power becomes more refined, these sources will become ever more important to utilities all over the country. The ability to transmit power over thousands of miles with minimal transmission power losses will make these types of agreements more common as wind and solar farms continue to be developed.