Media Contact: Gil Alexander, (626) 302-2255
ROSEMEAD, Calif., Feb. 24, 2011 – Southern California Edison (SCE) today connected the state’s largest investor-owned utility photovoltaic plant to its Central Valley power grid. The new generating station, the utility’s first ground-mount PV installation, covers 32 acres of land SCE has leased from the city of Porterville, Calif. It adds 5 million watts of peak capacity – enough power to serve 3,250 average homes – to SCE’s network of 11 solar stations.
Construction and testing of the 29,426-panel solar array near the Porterville Municipal Airport took about six months and created 125 jobs. The new Central Valley solar station is connected directly to the utility’s neighborhood power circuits and benefits all SCE customers in the region.
“Our hope when we launched SCE’s Solar PV Program was that it would help California achieve its ambitious renewable energy goals, while increasing industry knowledge about solar PV efficiency and interaction with local distribution circuits,” said Mark Nelson, SCE’s director of Generation Planning and Strategy. “That hope has become a reality.”
In addition to building its own network of 40-50 solar stations, SCE is signing power purchase agreements with independent producers willing to construct a similar number of solar plants collectively. The combined installations are expected to create some 1,200 jobs in all.
“It is more than exciting for Porterville to take this first step with SCE. Hopefully, in years to come, a solar project like this will be commonplace,” said Mayor Ronald Irish.
About Southern California Edison
An Edison International (NYSE:EIX) company, Southern California Edison is one of the nation’s largest electric utilities, serving a population of nearly 14 million via 4.9 million customer accounts in a 50,000-square-mile service area within Central, Coastal and Southern California.