The California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) has approved renewable energy contracts for Southern California Edison (SCE) and Pacific Gas and Electric (PG&E).

Through its 20-year Power Purchase Agreement (PPA) with Ram Power and Orita Geothermal, SCE will procure renewable generation from a new geothermal facility in Imperial County, California.

The Orita 1 facility has an expected initial capacity of 50MW, which may be expanded to 100MW. This facility will produce approximately 400GWh of energy per year beginning in 2013. The CPUC also authorized SCE to execute two additional PPAs with similar terms and conditions for future projects from these developers.

In addition, the CPUC approved a PPA between PG&E and Geysers Power that adds 50MW of geothermal capacity from the geothermal resource area in the Sonoma and Lake Counties in California to PG&E’s renewable energy portfolio.

The PPA also extends the delivery terms for 375MW already under contract. Under the PPA, PG&E will receive between 2,000 and 3,500GWh of Renewables Portfolio Standard-eligible energy through 2022.

The CPUC’s Renewables Portfolio Standard program requires investor owned utilities, energy service providers and community choice aggregators operating in California to obtain 20% of their retail sales from renewable energy sources by 2010.