Pacific Gas and Electric Co. (PGE) announced Friday it will build eight solar plants totaling 53 MW-AC throughout its service territory to fuel its Solar Choice program.
Construction on the first plants, which will be built in Northern and Central California, will begin this month. Seven different developers will be involved in building the plants:
- 8minutenergy Renewables
- AES Distributed Energy
- Green Light Energy Corporation
- ImMODO Energy Services
- Mirasol Development
- Recurrent Energy
- Solar Frontier Americas Development LLC
PG&E is building the plants in part because of overwhelming enthusiasm for its Solar Choice program, which allows ratepayers to purchase renewable energy (ranging from 50 to 100% of total use) from the utility or 25% to 100% from a regional renewable supplier.
At the same time it announced the new construction, it also trumpeted that the costs to participate in Solar Choice had dropped 30% for residential customers and by nearly 50% for some business customers.
Last year, the Solar Choice program cost $18 per month for an average household participating in the program at the 100% level. This year, the price has dropped to $13 per month. Customers can participate in the 50% solar program for half the cost, which consumers can calculate based on their energy usage using PG&E’s online tool.
“PG&E’s Solar Choice is all about giving our customers more options when it comes to clean energy,” said Aaron Johnson, vice president of PG&E’s Customer Energy Solutions. “By sourcing new local solar developments in the communities we are privileged to serve, more customers who want to support California’s clean energy future can now do so at a lower cost. This is a win for our customers and for the state’s ambitious clean energy goals.”
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Frank, is PG&E actually building these plants, or will they hire an EPC firm or firms to design and build them? Utilities often make it sound in their PRs like they are the ones building the plants, instead of having the plants built for them.
The second paragraph lists the seven EPCs who will be doing the ACTUAL building. The “to build” in the headline was figurative, meaning the projects will be built at their behest by the companies listed.
Figurative smigurative. I just get a little queasy when I see wording that suggests utilities “build their own.” Do you build your own house and does a contractor build it for you (unless you’re some kind of DIYer)? And most of all of those seven companies are developers, not EPCs. So we really don’t know yet who will be building the projects. But it likely ain’t PG&E! Like to see credit where credit is due.
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