PG&E (NYSE: PCG) just made a huge commitment to solar power when it agreed to buy 900MW of clean energy from BrightSource Energy's five solar thermal power plants in California. That's enough electricity to power about 540,000 homes each year.
The solar thermal plants in the Mojave Desert will use thousands of movable mirrors to concentrate the sun's rays to heat water to more than 1,000 degrees. The steam from that water then feeds a turbine to generate electricity. The first of the solar power plants for the CA project should be up and running in 2011.
Photo courtesy of NREL