Solar Photovoltaic Energy Generation

Solar panels
See photo gallery, here.
Several state agencies have installed solar power using Power Purchase Agreements (PPA). Under the PPAs, the solar service providers finance, build and operate the solar photovoltaic (pv) systems, while the customers—in this case, government agencies and colleges—pay only for the electricity at prices equal to or less than utility tariff rates. 

Phase I solar pv effort (2004-2008) completed eight projects totaling 4.5 megawatts (MW) online at various state facilities owned by the Departments of Corrections & Rehabilitation, Mental Health, Caltrans, and California State University. More than 40,000,000 kilowatthours were generated to date.  These projects annually generate an estimated 7 million kilowatthours of renewable electricity for use by their host facilities.

The Phase II solar pv effort (2008-2012) resulted in the award of eight projects at Departments of Corrections & Rehabilitation and Mental Health facilities totaling 18.3 MW.  All eight projects are in operation, and are expected to annually provide nearly 41 million kilowatthours of renewable electricity to their host facilities. 

The Phase III solar pv effort (2011-2014) resulted in the award of 14 solar pv projects at state facilities (Corrections & Rehabilitation, Mental Health), totaling 28.5 MW.  After further site review, only 11 projects remain viable to pursue at this time.  If these 11 projects are built as proposed, they would total over 18 MW and annually provide over 41 million kilowatthours of renewable electricity to their host facilities.  Six projects totaling 13 MW were operational at the end of 4th Qtr. 2013.  The remaining five projects totaling 5.8 MW should be completed in late 2014.

The Phase IV solar pv effort is underway. The Department of General Services (DGS) released a Request For Qualifications and has 13 developers in its qualified pool of solar service providers. The qualified pool of developers installs pv systems using third-party financing at no cost to the state and sells the renewable electricity generated by the pv systems at a competitive cost to the host facility.  DGS is identifying candidate sites and is in the process of developing Request for Offers for solar pv roof, canopy, and ground projects to be located at various facilities throughout the state.

(Revised 1-13-2014)

Featured PPA Projects:


  • California Prisons Go Green (CDCR Video) October 2008
  • Ironwood State Prison Plugs-in to Solar Power  (CDCR Video) May 2008