California Approves Contract for 500-Megawatt Solar Facility
The California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) announced its approval in late October of a contract for Southern California Edison to buy power from a large solar thermal plant. Southern California Edison (SCE) and Stirling Energy Systems signed a 20-year power purchase agreement on August 9th that calls for a 4,500-acre solar generating station to be built 70 miles northeast of Los Angeles.
According to the CPUC, the solar power plant would start power production in January 2009, but would not reach its planned 500-megawatt capacity until December 2012. The plant could eventually be expanded to a capacity of 850 megawatts. It will consist of large sun-tracking solar dishes, which will use Stirling engines to convert the sun's heat into electricity. See the PUC's October 27 press release.