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Sempra secures buyers for proposed solar project

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Los Angeles and Burbank have approved a 20-year solar power purchase agreement for 250 MW from Sempra U.S. Gas & Power's proposed Copper Mountain Solar 3 project.

The agreement provides the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power (LADWP) with the bulk of the power produced by the solar power plant -- 210 MW -- through an agreement with the Southern California Public Power Authority (SCPPA). SCPPA is joint power authority consisting of 11 municipal utilities and one irrigation district that finances power and transmission resources on behalf of its members. Burbank will purchase the remaining 40 MW through a similar agreement.

The project will bring Burbank to within as much as 1 percent of its 33 percent renewable energy goal by 2020.

"It has taken six years to make that elusive goal real," said Fred Fletcher, assistant general manager of power supply for Burbank Water and Power.

Copper Mountain Solar 3 and its two adjacent Copper Mountain Solar facilities in the Nevada desert combined create one of the largest solar power complexes in the Southwest.

This is Sempra's fourth utility-scale renewable energy project in Boulder City. When complete, in late 2015, the Boulder City solar projects will have a combined capacity of more than 450 MW, adding to Sempra's 700 MW of solar power already under development in Arizona and California.

"Copper Mountain Solar 3 is another important step toward reaching our goal of 1,400 megawatts of renewable capacity by 2016," said Jeffrey W. Martin, president and CEO of Sempra U.S. Gas & Power.

Construction on Copper Mountain Solar 3 is expected to begin next month.

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