Solar Projects Hinge on Proposed Powerlink
San Diego Business Journal (2008-04-17) Jaimey Lee
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Posted date: 4/17/2008
NTR, an Ireland-based company that specializes in renewable energy and waste management, plans to invest $100 million in Phoenix-based Stirling Energy Systems Inc. However, the move requires the construction of the proposed Sunrise Powerlink to transfer all of the generated energy into San Diego County, officials said at an April 17 news conference.
SES, a solar technology developer, plans to develop solar generating projects in the Imperial Valley and Mojave Desert that would provide energy, via a transmission line, to residents of Southern California. San Diego Gas & Electric partnered with SES in December 2005 for a three-phase, 20-year plan that would eventually deliver 900 megawatts of electricity to county residents — enough electricity to power half a million local homes. The final 600 megawatts require use of the Sunrise Powerlink, a proposed, 150-mile transmission line.
Christy Heiser, SDG&E spokeswoman, said that the three phases of the project will bump the utility’s renewable energy portfolio from its current place at 5.2 percent to 14.2 percent. (State law mandates that utilities achieve 20 percent of energy from renewable sources by 2010.)
The technology, called a Sun Catcher
, will be manufactured in the United States and costs $150,000 to $200,000 per unit. The projects are expected to generate 500 jobs in Imperial County.
The morning news conference included executives from NTR, SES, SDG&E, the city of San Diego, Imperial County Board of Supervisors and Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger’s local office.
— Jaimy Lee