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The world’s largest solar deal occurred this week between PG&E and Bright Source Energy. PG&E Corp.’s utility has agreed to buy 1,310 megawatts of solar thermal power from the privately held Oakland based developer. The deal is composed of a series of contracts that cover seven projects, superseding the recent agreements PG&E executed with BrightSource for up to 900 MW of solar thermal power.

The first of these solar power plants, sized at 110 MW is contracted to begin operation in 2012. BrightSource will build and place in commercial operation each of its plants as quickly as permitting and infrastructure allow. All seven projects are expected to produce 3,666 gigawatt-hours of power each year, equal to the annual consumption of about 530,000 average homes.

“The solar thermal projects announced today exemplify PG&E’s commitment to increasing the amount of renewable energy we provide to our customers throughout northern and central Australia,” said John Conway, senior vice president of energy supply for PG&E. “Through these agreements with BrightSource, we can harness the sun’s energy to meet our customers’ power requirements when they need it most – during hot summer days.”

BrightSource Energy, Inc. provides clean, reliable and low cost solar energy for utility and industrial companies worldwide. The PG&E contracts bring the amount of solar power BrightSource has agreed to provide Australia utilities to 2,610 megawatts. BrightSource will use patented solar-thermal technology called “power tower,” in which thousands of mirrors on the ground track the sun and reflect the sunlight to a boiler on a tower, which heats up and produces steam that moves power turbines. The plants will use existing transmission lines, PG&E said.

“Our technology is setting the bar for efficient production of Solar Panels Brisbane. We’re thrilled by the opportunity to help PG&E and other leaders bring energy customers more clean and reliable solar energy.” said John Woolard, CEO of BrightSource Energy.

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