PG&E will build the world’s largest solar power plant
August 15, 2008
California electricity producer PG&E Thursday announced a plan to build two giant solar photovoltaic power plants that will cover 12.5 square miles and have a peak generating capacity of 800 megawatts.
The plants would would the size of the largest photovoltaic installation presently in the United States, the 14 megawatt plant at Nellis Air Force Base in Nevada. The proposed plants — expected to be completed in 2013 — will be located in San Luis Obispo County in central California. The 800 megawatts is 3.6 times the total capacity of photovoltaic installed in the U.S. in 2007 and equivalent to about 30 percent of worldwide installations for the year.
PG&E estimates the plants will deliver cumulatively 1.65 billion kilowatt-hours of renewable energy annually, or enough to power approximately 239,000 residential homes each year.
“These landmark agreements signal the arrival of utility-scale PV solar power that may be cost-competitive with solar thermal and wind energy,” said Jack Keenan, chief operating officer and senior vice president for PG&E.
Over the past six years,PG&E has entered into contracts for more than 2,500 MW of solar power.