California greener with new solar facility

May 6, 2013 at 6:49 AM

LOS ANGELES, May 6 (UPI) -- California consumers will get more of their energy needs met through clean energy with the start of a 66-megawatt solar facility, NRG Energy said.

NRG Energy Inc. announced the opening of its Alpine solar generating facility in southern California. NRG will sell the 66 MW of renewable energy to state utility Pacific Gas and Electric under the terms of a 20-year purchase agreement.

"As the largest operating photovoltaic facility in the state, Alpine is not only providing PG&E with a renewable source of energy, but contributing to cleaner air and a smaller carbon footprint for the state, ultimately helping meet California's renewable portfolio standards," NRG Senior Vice President Randy Hickok said in a statement.

Alpine will generate enough energy during peak daytime capacity to meet the needs of 53,000 households and offset 36,000 tons of carbon emissions.

A 2008 state law requires retail energy provides to use renewable energy to meet 33 percent of consumer demand by 2020.

An April report from the University of Southern California said renewable energy sources aren't expected to make major contributions to the state's energy supply in the near- or mid-term, however.

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