As part of a plan to build 250 megawatts of distributed solar power, Southern California Edison (SCE) announced today it had struck a deal with distribution company ProLogis to install solar panels on 25 of its warehouses in the Inland Empire.
Combined, the roof tops could generate 100 megawatts of electricity from half a million solar panels on 15 million square feet of roof space, pending engineering studies and permit approval.
Panel installation will begin this year on the first ProLogis roofs included in the agreement – four structures in the Ontario Airport complex and a fifth in the Redlands Distribution Center, according to a press release. The utility already has a 2 Mw system on a ProLogis warehouse in Fontana, CA.
SCE has pledged to installed 50 Mw of solar each year through 2014, and has already partnered with other roof owners, such as Kennedy & Associates and AMB Property Corporation, according to Vanessa McGrady, a spokesperson. SCE said it hopes to create 1,200 green jobs under the program.
Distributed solar power has gained currency with power developers as large several-hundred megawatt plants have been repeatedly stymied by land-use and transmission problems. Pacific Gas & Electric just got approval for a 500 Mw plan similar to SCE’s.
While it is a small percentage of total demand, 100 Mw is still a lot of electricity, and SCE said the project will be a test-bed for technologies for seamlessly integrating variable power, like solar, with the rest of the grid without mishap.