You’d probably sign up to get as much of the power from those products as you could. That’s what San Diego Gas & Electric (SDG&E), a Sempra Generation company, is doing even as Soitec Solar Development, LLC, finalizes where it will locate its new, San Diego-area-based manufacturing plant.
Yesterday (May 18), the companies announced that they had reached agreements on two new concentrated photovoltaic farms, totaling 125 megawatts, of Soitec’s Concentrix systems.
One is an 80-megawatt installation called Rugged Solar, the other a 45-megawatt installation called Tierra Del Sol, according to SDG&E spokesperson Stephanie Donovan.
“The contract we have for these new projects call for a 25-year term, starting in 2014,” Donovan said.
The projects are designed to be close to existing substations, according to Donovan. By locating them near the substations, the companies minimize the need for additional costly transmission lines.
In all, SDG&E now has 305 megawatts of Concentrix systems under power-purchase agreements with Soitec. In March SDG&E announced a 150-megawatt power-purchase agreement with Tenaska, and in April it announced another 30-megawatt contract with Tenaske, both of which will generate power with Concentrix systems. They just have to be made.
Soitec, a French company, already is producing Concentrix systems in Europe, said Karen Hutchens, a U.S. spokesperson for the company. But the new, 200-megawatt annual capacity manufacturing site planned for the area still doesn’t have an official location.
“It will probably be forthcoming in the next few weeks,” she said.
She expects that the plant will be completed in less than two years.
“We really hope that it happens, and that’s the point to have them sign additional contracts with SDG&E. It will make sense to have a local facility to meet needs and produce enough modules,” Donovan said.
SDG&E has signed up a total of 1,000 megawatts of renewable energy generation as part of its bid to meet California’s 33 percent by 2020 renewable requirement.
“We’ve had some redundancies,” Donovan said.
The company expects that some of the contracts will fall through.
“If we get more than we have set the target for, I think we’d ask the PUC [i.e., public utilities commission] to allow us to add more in rather than turn it away,” Donovan said.
“We’re expecting that we’ll probably have about 29 percent renewable by 2015. We’re moving forward very successfully,” Donovan said.
She added that the utility recently issued another request for more renewables.