Sempra Energy (NYSE:SRE) announced today that it is partnering up with Consolidated Edison (NYSE:ED) on five solar projects spread throughout California and Nevada.

The utility-scale solar farms range from 20 MW in capacity to Sempra Energy's 250 MW Copper Mountain Solar 3, which is expected, when it is completed, to be among the largest photovoltaic solar power plants in the United States. Completion of the first 125 MW is expected by the end of 2014, with the remaining 125 MW slated for completion in 2015. Sempra says that when complete, Copper Mountain Solar 3 will be capable of generating enough electricity to power about 80,000 homes.

Collectively, the facilities in the deal announced today boast a total 360 MW of generating capacity, all of which has been sold under long-term power purchase agreements. The projects include Sempra's Copper Mountain Solar 3 near Las Vegas and four in Consolidated Edison's portfolio in California.

The new Sempra Energy–Consolidated Edison agreement allows each utility to take on 50% ownership of each plant, spreading risk and opportunity evenly between the two corporations.

"We are pleased to partner with Consolidated Edison Development on Sempra U.S. Gas & Power's largest solar project to date as we continue to execute on our strategy to deconsolidate debt and reinvest proceeds in near-term growth opportunities," said Kevin C. Sagara, vice president of renewables for Sempra Energy U.S. Gas & Power, in a statement. "This strategy allows us to continue to diversify our renewables portfolio, supporting our commitment to develop and invest in clean, forward-thinking energy solutions."

Consolidated Edison,'s Mark Noyes, Vice President of ConEdison Development, was quoted as sayig:

Over the past year, ConEdison Development has established a good working relationship with Sempra U.S. Gas & Power. As renewable power sources assume an ever-greater role in America's energy landscape, we are seeing first-hand the advantages of cooperating to deliver and operate large, viable and reliable projects. We are confident that this strategic approach to development of significant projects will benefit both parties, as well as the nation as a whole.

Subject to regulatory approvals, the deal should go into effect in Q2. Terms of the agreement were not disclosed. The companies last year partnered on the 150-MW Copper Mountain Solar 2 plant near Las Vegas as well as the 150-MW Mesquite Solar 1 plant near Phoenix.


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