While PG&E is waiting for the California Public Utilities Commission to approve its 500 megawatt (MW) distributed solar PV project, the northern California utility is moving ahead on some of the legwork anyway. PG&E wrote on its blog this morning that it’s inviting solar suppliers to submit their information for a contract to supply materials for, and/or build, a 2-MW, ground-mounted solar pilot project near a PG&E substation.
PG&E wants to use the small pilot plant to develop its process for working with third-party solar vendors, which will eventually help PG&E build out the rest of the planned 500-MW distributed solar photovoltaic project — 250 MW of which it will own outright. PG&E expects the initial pilot project to be built before the end of the year, and according to PG&E’s materials, interested solar suppliers need to offer the entire solar generating system, including engineering and materials, and can potentially build and commission the project, too.
The 2-MW contract might be small, but it could pave the way for the winner to get more of the massive solar distributed project. PG&E writes in its blog post: “suppliers it recruits (by competitive bid) may also be tapped to build many more such projects in the 1-to-20 MW range if the CPUC approves PG&E’s proposal.” If your company is interested at all in submitting for PG&E’s larger solar PV project, it should definitely get in on this one.