SDG&E Ending Ties To Rancho Bernardo Solar Company
San Diego Gas & Electric on Friday said it no longer has a relationship with a solar company that opened in Rancho Bernardo two years ago.
France-based Soitec opened its U.S. headquarters in San Diego after announcing a partnership with SDG&E to produce solar energy. The deal was solidified in 2011 when the two companies signed five contracts that required Soitec to provide 155 megawatts of solar-generated energy — or enough power for 60,000 households. The company also received a $25 million grant from the U.S. Department of Energy.
But the relationship between Soitec and SDG&E is now in jeopardy, according to the Voice of San Diego.
Voice said that Clark Crawford, San Diego’s Soitec chief, provided a statement that said the “company has sought meetings with SDG&E for weeks in hopes of discussing the future of its contract” but was unsuccessful. “If they continue to decline a meeting with us today we fear they may allow the power purchase agreements to just terminate.”
Soitec did not respond to a request for comment from KPBS on Friday.
SDG&E said in a statement that it has “taken unprecedented action to work with Soitec, amending contracts, extending milestone deadlines and seeking additional CPUC approvals over the years so that we could bring additional renewable resources into the San Diego community, but Soitec has historically not been able to meet the extended deadlines and other milestones in the contracts.”
Soitec also sold its contracts to third-party developers earlier this year, according to SDG&E. "Therefore, we no longer have a direct business relationship with Soitec," the utility said.
SDG&E said Soitec has registered to bid on providing the utility with 500 to 800 megawatts of electricity. SDG&E said it looks "forward to working with them on future endeavors."