Big Day for Solar at the CPUC


The California Public Utilities Commission approved a batch of solar contracts yesterday — up to 544 MW worth, of which 294 MW are coming in at prices below that of building a new natural gas combined cycle gas turbine. That’s a lot of solar, at a great price.

SDG&E is buying 96-150 MW, a project developed by Tenaska Solar Ventures. According to the approved resolution (pdf), “The project will use Soitec’s ConcentrixTM CPV modules with dual-axis tracking– one of the first utility-scale projects to use CPV. The CPV modules will be manufactured at a new facility to be built in the San Diego area. The IV West facility is expected to provide up to 300 construction jobs, and the new Soitec manufacturing facility is expected to create 450 jobs in California.” Cost is above the MPR.

PG&E received approval (pdf) for a 150 MW PV contract with Sempra Generation, to be built near the legendary Boulder City, NV. Cost is below the MPR.

SCE received approval for projects (pdf) procured under their Renewable Standard Offer program — a competitive solicitation for renewable projects under 20 MW. This program is a precursor to the RAM program (with which is shares many similarities). The CPUC approved 15 projects totaling 144 MW of PV, with project sizes from 4.7 MW to 20 MW. Each is priced below the 2009 MPR of $108.98/MWh. Ammonix, Juwi, Foresight, Recurrent, Clear Peak Energy, and Silverado all won contracts. Congrats to them.

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About Author

Walter’s contributions to CleanTechies over the past 4 years have been instrumental in growing the publications social media channels via his ongoing editorial and data driven strategies. He is the founder and managing director of Sunflower Tax, a renewable energy tax and finance consultancy based in San Diego, California. Active in the San Diego clean technology community, participating in events sponsored by CleanTech San Diego, EcoTopics, and Cleantech Open San Diego, Walter has also been a presenter at numerous California Center for Sustainability (CCSE) programs. He currently serves as an adjunct professor at the University of San Diego School of Law where he teaches a course on energy taxation and policy.