World’s Largest Photovoltaic Generating Station to Supply SCE Customers

December 04, 2003

December 4, 2003

ROSEMEAD, Calif., Dec. 4, 2003—Southern California Edison (SCE) today announced it has entered into an agreement to purchase renewable solar power for its customers from what will be the world’s largest solar photovoltaic (PV) central station.  The agreement with TrueSolar Solutions, LLC. was approved today by the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC).

SCE has contracted to buy five megawatts of solar power from the plant to be built on a 40-acre site located in the vicinity of Barstow, California, by TrueSolar Solutions.  TrueSolar will work with Global Solar Energy to build the project.

“When completed, the TrueSolar project will provide our customers with the lowest-cost wholesale electric energy available from photovoltaics,” said Lars Bergmann, SCE’s director of qualifying facilities contracts.  “SCE’s support of emerging solar technologies is part of our long-standing commitment to renewable energy resources that offer California important environmental and economic benefits. “

The power generated from twenty 250-kilowatt PV arrays at the station will flow into the utility’s power grid and benefit all SCE customers.  Construction on the plant is expected to begin in early 2004, with commercial operation planned by year’s end.  Annual energy production is expected to be approximately 11 million kilowatt-hours (kWh).

“Our contract with TrueSolar is a tremendous advance in the commercialization of PV power, “said Bergmann.  ”Until now, this particular renewable energy technology has been used in small, limited applications such as individual customer rooftops.  For the first time in California this project will elevate the limited use of rooftop PV energy to the same category as traditional forms of bulk power generation.”

On August 29, 2003, SCE announced that, for the first time, renewable energy sources represented as much as 23% of its total monthly summer power  sales, strengthening SCE’s position as the leading U.S. purchaser of electricity produced with alternate sources such as wind, solar, biomass and geothermal energy as well as power from small hydroelectric facilities.

How the Solar Technology Works

The advanced-technology solar panels transform the sun’s rays into direct current electricity.  That electricity is then converted to alternating current that flows into SCE’s 50,000-square-mile power grid. 

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An Edison International (NYSE:EIX) company, Southern California Edison is one of the nation’s largest electric utilities, serving a population of more than 12 million via 4.5 million customer accounts in a 50,000-square-mile service area within central, coastal and Southern California. 

TrueSolar Solutions, LLC., is owned and managed by TruePricing Inc., one of California's leading power technology firms, specializing in the low-cost deployment of both energy conservation technologies and renewable generation.  TruePricing is a subsidiary of UniSource Energy Corporation (NYSE: UNS).  Global Solar Energy, Inc., another UniSource subsidiary, recently completed a 3.5 megawatt, grid-connected PV plant for Tucson Electric Power Company.