CNET is reporting that PG&E has entered in to a contract to purchase 177 megawatts of solar thermal power from Ausra who is building a 1 square mile plant in San Luis Obispo CA.
They already buy 533 megawatts from a plant in the mojave. This is the first I've heard of a major power company purchasing a solar contract though clearly it's happening already. PG&E plans to expand this 1 gigawatt in the next 5 years.
If anybody has any data on what PG&E will be paying per kilowatt hour for this I'd love to hear it, because they we can get a more true cost of electricity (taking in to account the extra costs for low co2 emission energy and/or renewable resources)
In North Carolina, the NCGreenpower program enables consumers to add extra money to their power bill to have Duke Energy buy their power from renewable resources. Though adding $20/month to your bill (you choose how much you want to add) probably only shifts a fraction of a homes power usage to renewable, it's a start.
So electrimetricers when you are measuring how much power things use and calculating how much this costs you annually, or you calculating off your current bill, future bills, or future bills that use renewable resources?
Inquiring minds want to know.
UPDATE: the linked article in the cnet article says solar thermal currently costs about 13 cents per kilowatt hour. But how much will PG&E be charging consumers?
PG&E links with Ausra for 177 megawatts of solar thermal power | Green Tech blog - CNET News.com: "The utility is shooting to get 20 percent or more of its electricity from renewable sources, not including traditional hydroelectric power, by 2010. It currently gets 12 percent of its electricity now from renewables and has contracts that push it up to 18 percent. Most of its renewable energy so far comes from wind and biomass: PG&E right now gets only a little of its power from solar."