A plan proposed by Southern California Edison to install the largest number of solar panels on unused commercial rooftops across southern California has been approved by the California Public Utilities Commission.
During the next five years, Southern California Edison will install and operate 250MW of the new solar generation systems.
The utility will also offer long-term power contracts to independent solar-power providers who will install an additional 250MW of solar systems, bringing the total generating capacity of the project to 500MW – the largest photovoltaic programme ever undertaken.
In 2008, Southern California Edison completed the first of what eventually will be about 150 sites making up the programme, a 600,000ft2 Fontana, California distribution warehouse roof.
The rooftop now holds 33,700 advanced thin-film solar panels with a generating capacity of 2.4MW of power – the largest single rooftop solar photovoltaic array in the US.
Southern California Edison has already begun constructing its second installation atop a 458,000ft2 industrial building in Chino, California.
First Solar of Tempe, Arizona, supplied the solar panels for the first two installations.