SDG&E Drives Solar Power, Green Jobs

San Diego Gas & Electric (SDG&E) announced recently they have signed a contract with a subsidiary of CSOLAR Development, which is managed by Tenaska, an energy corporation out of Nebraska, to bring a solar power project to the Southern California region.

SDG&E has agreed to purchase 150 megawatts of energy from Tenaska’s proposed Imperial Solar Energy Center (ISEC) West facility, under a 25 year contract. The 1,057 acre ISEC West solar facility is set to be built outside El Centro, California and will begin construction later this summer following a loan approval from the U.S. Department of Energy. The project will bring nearly 300 construction jobs to the area over the course of the 18 month building process.

photovoltaic solar power, SunShot

image via PG&E

French solar panel company, Soitec, will be supplying the concentrated photovoltaic modules for the ISEC West project. In order to meet demand, Soitec is planning to open a new manufacturing center in the San Diego region that will have an estimated 200 MW annual production capacity and generate over 400 jobs once fully operational.

The announcement of SDG&E’s partnership with Tenaska’s ISEC West comes just after the agreement between the companies for a 130 MW ISEC South facility that is expected to be completed in 2014. Both are expected to be connected to the Sunrise Powerlink that will transmit power from Imperial Valley to residents in San Diego, and are part of SDG&E’s plan to get 33% of its power from renewable resources by 2020.

Aaron Colter is a freelance writer and marketing consultant in Portland, Oregon. A graduate of Purdue University, he has worked for the NCAA, Dark Horse Comics, Willamette Week, AOL, The Huffington Post, Top Shelf Productions, DigitalTrends, theMIX agency, SuicideGirls, EarthTechling, d'Errico Studios and others. He is also the co-founder of BananaStandMedia.com, a free record label, recording studio, and distribution service for independent musicians.