This is an excerpt from EERE Network News, a weekly electronic newsletter.

April 28, 2004

California Power Authority Seeks 4 Megawatts of Solar Power

The State of California wants its state agencies and universities to use more solar power and is using its purchasing power to help make that happen. The California Power Authority (CPA) and the California Department of General Services issued a request for proposals on April 22nd for companies to install about 4 megawatts of solar electric systems in, on, or around a number of California facilities. The intent is for private companies to own and install the systems, and for the state to purchase the solar power from each system at a set price over at least a 20-year period. Specifically, the state plans to install 1-megawatt solar power systems at two state prisons in Blythe, two 250-kilowatt systems at state hospitals in Norwalk and Patton, two 250-kilowatt systems on office buildings in Stockton and Santa Rosa, and systems of various sizes at seven university campuses.

If the state receives favorable prices for solar power, it anticipates issuing additional requests for proposals in the near future. California's two-year goal is to install 10 to 20 megawatts of solar power at state facilities, and the state might contract for up to 60 megawatts of solar power by the end of 2007. The CPA is holding a pre-proposal meeting on Thursday, and proposals will be due on June 17th. See the announcement on the CPA site, which links to the full request for proposals.

California continues to rack up new solar power systems. PowerLight Corporation finished installing a 1.4-megawatt system at Cal State Hayward, which earned the university a $3.4 million rebate check from Pacific Gas and Electric Company. PowerLight also installed a 150-kilowatt system and a 50-kilowatt system at the SANYO North America headquarters in San Diego. And Sharp Electronics Corporation installed a 200-kilowatt system at an office building in Santa Rosa. Sharp claims the building represents Northern California's first "zero energy" commercial real estate complex, combining energy-efficient construction with solar energy to achieve zero net energy consumption. See the press releases from Cal State Hayward, PowerLight, and Sharp (PDF 13 KB). Download Acrobat Reader.