Turning Big Box Stores into Solar Power Plants in California

It was only last Autumn that we reported that the biggest solar farm in the US would be a 80-megawatt installation by Cleantech America. Now, Southern California Edison (SCE) wants to build something quite a bit larger, a 250-megawatt farm with a twist: It will be distributed among many commercial rooftops, starting with southern California's Inland Empire, San Bernardino and Riverside counties.

They are planning to install 1 megawatt per week starting in August. Once the project is finished, it will take up 65,000,000 square feet of roofs that would otherwise be unused and produce enough clean energy to supply about 162,000 homes. The total cost of the project will be about $875 million and is projected to take about five years to complete.

"These are the kinds of big ideas we need to meet California's long-term energy and climate change goals," said Governor Schwarzenegger. "I urge others to follow in their footsteps. If commercial buildings statewide partnered with utilities to put this solar technology on their rooftops, it would set off a huge wave of renewable energy growth."

This new solar power generation capacity should help reach California's mandate of generating 20 percent of the state's electricity from renewable sources by 2010.

::California utility to add 250 MW in solar cells, ::California utility to spread 'solar power plant' across rooftops, ::Southern California Edison Launches Nation's Largest Solar Panel Installation

See also: ::1366 Technologies is Bringing Solar Power Closer to $1/Watt, ::19.9%: New Thin Film Solar Efficiency Record, ::Solaria: Finding Clever Ways to Make Cheaper Solar Panels, ::Ausra: Solar Power Around the Clock, Enough for 90% of U.S. Grid

Tags: Alternative Energy | California | Energy

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