SCE Signs New Solar Deal

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Southern California Edison has added to its solar power portfolio with a recent agreement to buy solar energy from a Kern County project.

The 20-year contract for 20 megawatts of power is with Redcrest Solar Farm, a planned project from 8minutenergy Renewables LLC and Saferay Inc. that is scheduled to begin construction next year. The 160-acre farm would be up and running by the middle of 2015, officials say. They add that the project would offset about 54,000 metric tons of carbon dioxide annually. More than 150 jobs would be created during the construction phase. The farm would use photovoltaic modules and a system that tracks the sun to maximize energy production.

Under state law, Southern California Edison must get one-third of its power from renewable energy resources by the year 2020. The company, under the Edison International umbrella, has recently signed 13 agreements for 201.5 megawatts of renewable energy.

"This is the third [agreement] in the last 12 months that we've secured, for a total capacity of over 325 megawatts," said Martin Hermann, chief executive officer of 8minutenergy Renewables, in a statement. "We are pleased that utilities and county, state and local officials have confidence in the ability of 8minutenergy and Saferay to deliver on our solar projects. The Redcrest Solar Farm's annual production of approximately 48 million kilowatt hours of electricity will produce enough renewable solar energy to serve 9,000 households."

Terms of the agreement were not immediately disclosed. The contract still needs approval from the California Public Utilities Commission. 8minutenergy has offices throughout California, and specializes in solar plants built on farm land; Saferay is based in Berlin and builds and finances large-scale photovoltaic plants.

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