Completed Californian pilot project paves way for 250 MW of new PV projects

The Vaca-Dixon Solar Station, named after the electrical substation it neighbors, is part of a five-year solar energy program, launched by the utility. A part of the program also calls for independent developers to build up to 250 MW of additional solar PV facilities.

All projects in the combined 500-MW program will be 20 MW or less in size, says the utility, which should require less time to plan and build than large solar plants that often face lengthy delays. Once complete, the program is projected to produce enough energy to meet the needs of about 150,000 average homes.

"I applaud PG&E for its commitment to making a direct investment in clean, renewable solar energy generation that will help reduce our dependence on oil," said Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger. "This project will help us meet our long-term energy goals while creating jobs and keeping California on the leading edge of this booming industry."

The Vaca-Dixon Solar Station encompasses nearly 16 acres. Leveraging the skills of state and local workers, businesses, diverse suppliers and international expertise, it took four months to physically construct.