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California regulators green light SCE's ambitous solar plans

A plan proposed by Southern California Edison (SCE) for the largest US installation of advanced solar panels on otherwise unused large commercial rooftops across Southern California was approved today by the California Public Utilities Commission.

During the next five years Southern California Edison (SCE) will install, own and operate 250 MW of solar photovoltaic (PV) generating capacity. The utility also will conduct competitive solicitations offering long-term power contracts to independent solar power providers who will install an additional 250 MW, bringing to 500 MW the total generating capacity of the project - the largest PV program ever undertaken.

“This innovative solar rooftop project is part of Edison International’s 25-year commitment to developing cleaner renewable and alternative energy sources for our customers,” said Theodore F. Craver, Jr., Edison International chairman and ceo. “The program will create hundreds of neighborhood solar power plants, strengthen local grid reliability and produce hundreds of new green jobs to bolster Southern California’s economic recovery.”

During the fall of 2008, SCE completed the first of what eventually will be about 150 sites making up this program, a 600,000-square-foot Fontana, Calif. distribution warehouse roof. The rooftop now holds 33,700 advanced thin-film solar panels with a generating capacity of 2.4 MW of DC power – the largest single rooftop solar PV array in California.

SCE already has begun construction of its second installation atop a 458,000-square-foot industrial building in Chino, Calif. First Solar of Tempe, Ariz. was the winning bidder to supply panels for these first two installations.

In other recent news, SCE has also signed agreements with wind and solar suppliers for up to 960 MW of clean, renewable power.

 

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