The CPUC approval enables the utility to buy the renewable power generated by Sempra Generation’s 150MW Copper Mountain Solar 2 project in Boulder City, Nevada.

The approval enables Sempra Generation to begin construction on 1,100-acre solar plant this year.

The first 92MW of solar panels at Copper Mountain Solar 2 are expected to be installed by year-end 2012, with the remaining 58MW slated for completion by 2015.

Under the terms of the contract, the utility has the option to accelerate the commercial operation date of the second phase.

Copper Mountain Solar 2 will produce enough zero-emission electricity to power about 45,000 homes when fully developed.

First Solar will provide the ground mounted thin film panels and serve as the engineering, procurement and construction contractor for the solar project.