San Diego Gas & Electric and Tenaska Energy announced a 25-year contract for up to 150 megawatts of solar energy to be generated at the Imperial Solar Energy Center West. In connection with the contract, the company producing the solar panels Soitec has said it will build a new factory in the San Diego region to manufacture concentrated photovoltaic technology, according to a press release from SDG&E.
Soitec chief executive officer André-Jacques Auberton-Hervé said the company is pleased that the photovoltaic technology was chosen for the project.
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“Our (concentrated photovoltaic) systems are perfectly suited for the very high solar irradiance prevalent in the Imperial Valley,” he said in a statement. “As a CPV leader, we are committed to the U.S. market and look forward to increasing our presence in the San Diego community by contributing to the emerging renewable energy ecosystem in the region.”
The project will connect with SDG&E’s Imperial Valley substation and its Sunrise Powerlink transmission line, according to the press release.
“The start of construction of the Sunrise Powerlink has triggered a wave of proposed new utility-scale solar and wind projects in the Imperial Valley region,” said James Avery, SDG&E’s senior vice president of power supply. “What is unique about this contract is that not only will the Imperial Valley benefit from the jobs created to construct the solar plant, San Diego will benefit from the module factory.”
In total more than 2,000 new jobs will be created in San Diego and Imperial counties, he said.
The contract will have to be approved by the California Public Utilities Commission.
Staff Writer Elizabeth Varin can be reached at email@example.com or 760-337-3441.
By the numbers
Imperial Solar Energy Center West by the numbers
1,057 acres south of Seeley
55,000 households of energy to be created
300 construction jobs in the Imperial Valley
450 direct jobs from the company’s solar panel plant in San Diego