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Sempra U.S. Gas & Power, consolidated edison development announce solar partnership

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

SAN DIEGO and VALHALLA, N.Y., May 21, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- Sempra U.S. Gas & Power and Consolidated Edison Development (ConEdison Development) today announced an agreement to partner in two of Sempra U.S. Gas & Power's solar power facilities, the 150-megawatt (MW) Copper Mountain Solar 2 plant near Las Vegas and the 150-MW Mesquite Solar 1 power plant near Phoenix.

Under the sales agreement, each company will own a 50-percent interest in the two solar facilities, which are among the largest photovoltaic plants in the U.S.  Sempra U.S. Gas & Power will continue to provide operations and maintenance services to both plants.

"This strategic partnership bolsters Sempra U.S. Gas & Power's ongoing plan to improve its financial returns, deconsolidate debt and redeploy the proceeds from the transaction into new renewable growth projects," said Kevin C. Sagara, vice president of renewables and corporate development for Sempra U.S. Gas & Power. "We look forward to partnering with Consolidated Edison Development to continue operating world-class solar facilities that supply clean, emission-free electricity to our customers, and to capitalize on our shared view of near-term growth opportunities."

"This transaction provides ConEdison Development with the opportunity to work with an outstanding partner while we expand our presence throughout the United States," said Mark Noyes, vice president of ConEdison Development.  "We are partnering in two strategic renewable assets, both with strong project fundamentals, and advancing our commitment to growth in the renewable energy marketplace."

Construction on Mesquite Solar 1, located in Arlington, Ariz., began in 2011.  Power from the facility has been sold to Pacific Gas & Electric under a 20-year contract.  Mesquite Solar 1 generates enough clean electricity for about 56,000 homes. The project created 528 local construction jobs at the peak of construction and 10 long-term positions.

Phase 1 of Copper Mountain Solar 2 is complete and is currently generating 92 MW of clean solar power.  When the second phase is fully constructed, expected in 2015, the project's total operating capacity will be 150 MW.  Power from the facility has been sold to Pacific Gas & Electric under a 25-year contract.

In September 2011, the U.S. Department of Energy's Loan Program Office awarded Mesquite Solar 1 a $337 million loan guarantee that enabled it to build this innovative photovoltaic plant, one of the largest in the U.S.  The agreement is subject to approvals from the U.S. Department of Energy and regulatory agencies.  Those approvals are anticipated in the second half of 2013. The terms of the sale were not disclosed.

About Consolidated Edison Development

Launched in 1997, ConEdison Development focuses on the development, ownership and operation of renewable and energy infrastructure projects.  The company typically focuses on projects in the early or middle stages of development. Through acquisitions and development, ConEdison Development has owned, operated and marketed over 2000 MW of electric generating facilities.  The company has proven expertise in engineering and construction management, start-up and commissioning.

ConEdison Development is a subsidiary of Consolidated Edison, Inc. (NYSE: ED), one of the nation's largest investor-owned energy companies, with approximately $13 billion in annual revenues and $40 billion in assets.  More information can be obtained by calling 914-993-2185.  You can also visit the Consolidated Edison, Inc. website at www.conedison.com.

About Sempra U.S. Gas & Power

Sempra U.S. Gas & Power, LLC is a leading developer of renewable energy and natural gas solutions.  The company operates solar, wind and natural gas power plants that generate enough electricity for nearly 1 million homes, along with natural gas storage, pipelines and distribution utilities. The company is a subsidiary of Sempra Energy (NYSE: SRE), a Fortune 500 energy services holding company with 2012 revenues of approximately $10 billion.  The Sempra Energy companies' nearly 17,000 employees serve more than 31 million consumers worldwide.  For more information, visit www.SempraUSGP.com.

SOURCE Sempra U.S. Gas & Power

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