CPUC President Peevey, Governor's Office Join PG&E in Dedicating New Solar Generation Station

Utility Celebrates First Project Built Under New Renewable Energy Program

Jun 23, 2010, 14:59 ET from PG&E Corporation

SAN FRANCISCO, June 23 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- Pacific Gas and Electric Company (PG&E) today officially celebrated completion of its Vaca-Dixon Solar Station, the flagship project of a major new solar energy program launched by the utility. California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) President Michael R. Peevey, the office of Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger, local officials and residents, labor groups and project suppliers joined PG&E at the event, which took place at the new generation facility located near the City of Vacaville.

"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 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 two-megawatt (MW) Vaca-Dixon Solar Station, named after the electrical substation it neighbors, is the pilot project under a five-year plan for the utility to develop up to 250 MW of new solar photovoltaic (PV) power in the state. PG&E's 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, 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 on the completion of its Vaca-Dixon Solar Station and look forward to seeing many similar projects to come," said CPUC President Peevey. "These types of smaller-scale projects help the state meet its clean energy goals in much less time than projects that are larger in size."

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.  

PG&E President Chris Johns said the project will kick start the utility's program of developing many more solar projects in Northern and Central California.

"PG&E proposed this program in an effort to supply our customers with more renewable energy on a faster timetable," said Johns. "The success of the Vaca-Dixon Solar Station pilot project has provided PG&E with the tools and know-how to develop similar facilities in our service area and the ability to turn our clean energy vision into reality."

Solon Corporation, a U.S.-based subsidiary of Germany's Solon SE, was selected by PG&E through a competitive solicitation as the primary contractor for the project. ALB Inc., a minority-owned company working in conjunction with Operating Engineers Local Union Number 3, prepared the site for construction. Silverwood Energy, a California disabled veteran-owned business enterprise, built the facility with labor provided by International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW) Local 1245.

Pacific Gas and Electric Company, a subsidiary of PG&E Corporation (NYSE: PCG), is one of the largest combined natural gas and electric utilities in the United States. Based in San Francisco, with 20,000 employees, the company delivers some of the nation's cleanest energy to 15 million people in Northern and Central California. For more information, visit www.pge.com/about/.

SOURCE PG&E Corporation