Sempra lands solar sale deal

Sempra Generation of San Diego announced a major deal Thursday to sell solar power generated in Southern Nevada to a big California utility.

Sempra signed an agreement with Pacific Gas & Electric of San Francisco to sell the utility 150 megawatts of electricity generated at its Copper Mountain Solar complex in Boulder City.

It’s the third local deal between Sempra and PG&E, and it dwarfs the first, which was for Copper Mountain’s 48-megawatt beginning phase.

The first phase went live in late 2010 and is already the nation’s largest photovoltaic plant. PG&E also purchased some 10 megawatts of power from Sempra’s 10-megawatt El Dorado Solar plant nearby.

The newest purchase-power agreement is for 25 years, while the earlier deals were for 20 years. The contracts’ financial details were not disclosed.

The newest phase of Copper Mountain Solar will come online in stages between 2013 and 2015.

Local power utility NV Energy negotiated with Sempra to buy power from the first phase of Copper Mountain but was outbid by PG&E.

Scott Crider, director of external affairs for Sempra, wouldn’t disclose whether NV Energy submitted a bid to buy power from Copper Mountain Solar’s upcoming phase.

“We talked to lots of utilities on this project,” he said.

Contact reporter Jennifer Robison at or 702-380-4512.

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