SCE signs up 42.6 MW worth of rooftop solar power

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Southern California Edison (SCE) continues to encourage and support the development and interconnection of solar power projects within its service territory.

SCE has about 125,000 rooftop solar systems installed in its territory, totaling more than 1,000 MW. Those systems include residential and non-residential installations, as well as some utility-owned projects. Nearly 600 MW are from residential projects.

Adding to those totals, SCE recently announced that the California Public Utilities Commission has approved 22 projects totaling 42.6 MW of direct current solar power from the utility’s fourth solicitation to obtain electricity from independent power producers as part of its Solar Photovoltaic Program (SPVP).

This request for offers is the fourth of five planned solicitations since the program began in 2010. The solar program is just one of a set of programs used by the utility to procure power from renewable energy generation projects. It is designed to encourage energy production from rooftop-mounted solar photovoltaic facilities sized between 1-2 MW, but allows for projects between 0.5-10 MW.

The rooftop projects selected are distributed throughout SCE's service territory and were proposed by two different developers, Borrego and Sun Edison. The power-purchase agreements have been reviewed and approved by the utilities commission. One megawatt of solar in California can power 216 homes, according to calculations from the Solar Energy Industries Association.

As part of the procurement effort, SCE also sought projects to serve the Orange County area that could enhance the reliability of the local grid. One of the projects approved by the commission is a 1.63 MW direct current rooftop project in Orange County, where renewable generation in the densely populated area is currently less than 3 percent.

SCE is on track to meet California’s Renewables Portfolio Standard goal of delivering 33 percent renewable energy by 2020. Last year, about 23.5 percent of the energy it provided came from renewable sources.

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