Posts Tagged ‘NextLight Renewable Power’

nextlight renewable power agua caliente

That was quick: Just days after California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger vetoed legislation that would have limited utilities’ ability to buy out-of-state renewable energy, utility PG&E on Thursday asked regulators to approve a deal with an Arizona solar farm to supply 290 megawatts of electricity. As I write in The New York Times on Friday:

Pacific Gas & Electric, the big California utility, asked regulators on Thursday to approve the purchase of electricity from an Arizona solar power plant, only days after Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger vetoed legislation that would have limited utilities’ ability to tap out-of-state projects to meet renewable energy mandates.

NextLight Renewable Power will construct the 290-megawatt Aqua Caliente photovoltaic farm on private land in Yuma County, Ariz. The company, based in San Francisco, signed a deal with P.G.&E. in June to supply 230 megawatts from a solar power plant to be built outside of Los Angeles.

The legislation vetoed by Mr. Schwarzenegger on Sunday would have required California utilities to obtain 33 percent of their electricity from renewable sources by 2020, mostly from in-state projects.

Environmental groups and unions supported that provision as a way to limit the need to build new transmission lines and to keep construction jobs in California. But the governor said it would hamstring utilities from complying with the 33 percent target, which he supports.

According to the filing the utility made Thursday, Arizona regulators have already approved the project and NextLight expects to obtain county building permits within a few months. In contrast, the licensing of a solar power plant in California can take years. The Agua Caliente project is also located near existing transmission lines that connect to California’s power grid.

You can read the rest of the story here.

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AV Solar Ranch

California utility PG&E on Friday announced a contract to buy 230 megawatts of electricity from a photovoltaic solar farm to be built by San Francisco-based NextLight Renewable Power.

NextLight — backed by private equity firm Energy Capital Partners — will build the AV Solar Ranch on agricultural land in Los Angeles County’s Antelope Valley.  PG&E (PCG) says the solar power plant will begin producing electricity in 2011. When fully built out by 2013, it will generate enough power for 90,000 homes, according to the utility.

Since the project will deploy solar panels rather than solar thermal technology that uses mirrors to heat liquids to drive a turbine, it does not need to go through the laborious California Energy Commission permitting process.

NextLight apparently also plans to build solar thermal farms — the company has filed lease claims on some 20,000 acres of Mojave Desert land owned by the U.S. Bureau of Land Management for two 500-megawatt solar trough power plants.

Friday’s agreement follows PG&E’s deal in May with BrightSource Energy to buy 1,300 megawatts of solar electricity to be produced by seven solar power plants.

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