Dec 13 California power company Sempra Energy
said the state's cities of Los Angeles and Burbank have
approved a 20-year agreement to buy 250 megawatts (MW) of solar
power from Sempra's proposed Copper Mountain Solar 3 project in
Sempra plans to build the 250-MW solar photovoltaic project
about 40 miles (64 km) southeast of Las Vegas in Boulder City,
The Los Angeles Department of Water and Power (LADWP) will
buy the bulk of the solar plant's electricity - 210 MW - through
an agreement with the Southern California Public Power Authority
(SCPPA). Burbank will purchase the remaining 40 MW.
SCPPA finances power and transmission resources on behalf of
its 11 municipal utilities, including Los Angeles and Burbank,
and one irrigation district.
Sempra will deliver the power from the plant to Southern
California through a substation and transmission lines operated
"Copper Mountain Solar 3 is another important step toward
reaching our goal of 1,400 megawatts of renewable capacity by
2016," Jeffrey Martin, president and CEO of Sempra's Sempra U.S.
Gas & Power unit, said in a release on Wednesday.
Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa said in the release
the purchase from Copper Mountain would help the city reduce the
use of coal-fired power.
"It is high time Los Angeles kicked its addiction to dirty
coal energy," Villaraigosa said.
Sempra said it expects to begin construction of the
1,370-acre (555-hectare) Copper Mountain 3 project next month,
creating about 300 jobs at the height of construction.
When completed in late 2015, Sempra said the project will
deliver enough electricity to power about 80,000 homes.
COPPER MOUNTAIN 2
Earlier this week, Sempra said it completed construction of
the 92-MW first phase of Copper Mountain 2, which consists of
nearly 1.5 million solar panels capable of generating enough
power for about 27,600 homes.
Sempra started construction of Copper Mountain 2 in December
2011, creating about 630 jobs at the peak of construction.
Sempra sells power from Copper Mountain 2 to California
power company PG&E Corp under a 25-year contract.
Sempra said it expects to complete the second phase of
Copper Mountain 2 in 2015, producing an additional 58 MW and
bringing the total plant output to 150 MW.
Copper Mountain 1, meanwhile, is a 58-MW plant completed in
2010 that can power about 17,000 homes. The power from Copper
Mountain 1 is sold to PG&E under a 20-year contract.
Sempra did not disclose the cost to build its solar projects
or the amount for which it sells the power in any of its press
releases this week.
Local media have reported Copper Mountain 1 cost about $141
Energy experts have estimated it costs much more to build a
solar photovoltaic facility - $6.3 million per megawatt,
according to federal data.