SDG&E signs 80 MWs worth of PPAs

The first solar agreement is a 25-year contract with subsidiaries of Sol Orchard, LLC. Under it, as much as 50 MW of locally produced solar energy could be purchased.

The agreement calls for 21 individual, ground-mounted photovoltaic plants to be built in mainly rural communities in San Diego County over the next two years. The systems will take the form of "solar orchids", which will be installed in neighborhoods around the county.

SDG&E says that while the majority of the projects will be two MW in size, some will be as large as four MW.

"This project is a unique, innovative concept that takes the idea of ‘rooftop solar’ to a new dimension," states Michael Niggli, SDG&E’s president and chief operating officer. "Sol Orchard has found a way to make solar power available to customers in even the remotest areas of our service territory."

Jeff Brothers, president of Sol Orchard adds: "We worked closely with SDG&E to design a series of small, self-contained units located near existing utility sites that can be built quickly and efficiently, some of which will be operational as early as next year."

The second solar power purchase agreement is with subsidiaries of Soitec Solar Development, LLC. It includes three contracts with the combined capacity of 30 MW of solar energy to be generated at three solar power plant sites in San Diego County. The plants will use concentrator photovoltaic (CPV) technology.

The CPV modules will be manufactured at a new Soitec factory to be built in the San Diego area. Meanwhile, the projects will deploy a ground-mounted, dual-axis tracking CPV solar power system.

The agreement follows the recent announcement of another proposed solar energy purchase power agreement that calls for up to 150 MW from a project to be built near El Centro, California, in the Imperial Valley. The Soitec factory will provide the CPV modules for both projects.