Clean Energy Target Still Unmet, PG&E Signs More Renewables

Craig Miller

California’s three big utilities have another two years to reach their mandated target of having 20% of their electricity generated from renewable sources, and today PG&E announced two new deals that could inch the company closer to that goal:

  • Wind:  An agreement with NextEra Energy Resources, for 25 years of wind power from the company’s 163 megawatt North Sky River project in Tehachapi, CA.  PG&E says the energy from this project could meet the needs of about 90,000 typical homes.
  • Solar:  A 25-year contract with Sempra Generation for 150 megawatts of solar power from an expansion of the Copper Mountain Solar complex near Boulder City, NV.  Just under 2/3 of that power is expected online in 2013, with the remainder available by 2015. Ultimately, the company says, this project could power 45,000 homes.

PG&E spokesperson Lynsey Paulo said that together, these two contracts will push PG&E one percent closer to the 20% goal.

As of last week, PG&E was at 15.9% of electricity generated from renewables, according to latest numbers out from the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC).  Southern California Edison is a 19.3%, and San Diego Gas & Electric is at 11.9%.

The official Renewable Portfiolio Standard (RPS) is 20% by 2010, but the CPUC has implemented flexibility allowing the utilities until 2013 to meet the requirement.   Ultimately, the legally-mandated RPS requirement is 33% by 2020.

For more on California’s quest for renewable energy, check out our multimedia series 33×20: California’s Clean Power Countdown.