Chumby Plugs Into Connected TV, San Diego Slowly Regaining Jobs, Ecotality Begins Rollout of Public Charging Stations, & More San Diego BizTech News

6/20/11Follow @bvbigelow

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electric rates are in place, which is expected by the end of the year. San Diego Gas & Electric plans to issue cards that EV owners can swipe at the stations, and have the charge automatically added to their home electricity bill.

—In a keynote speech at the Internet Retailer Conference & Exhibition in the San Diego Convention Center last week, Huffington Post founder Arianna Huffington extolled the role that online media is playing in online commerce and the Internet economy, according to an account by Penni Crabtree in The San Diego Union-Tribune. The woman who started the Huffington Post in 2005 and sold it to AOL for $315 million earlier this year says mainstream media still doesn’t “get” why people spend so much time expressing themselves online for free.

San Diego Gas & Electric signed a power purchase agreement for a 130 megawatt (110 megawatt AC) solar photovoltaic facility to be built in Kern County, CA by enXco, a San Diego-based unit of France’s EDF Energies Nouvelles. The solar facility will cover 1,100 acres and will be the largest utility-scale solar project developed in the U.S. by enXco. The Catalina Solar Project will be built, owned, and operated by enXco and SDG&E will buy the power under the 25-year power purchase agreement. The project is expected to generate enough renewable energy to power about 35,000 homes and will offset about 74,000 metric tons of greenhouse gas emissions, according to SDG&E.

—On a separate front, the U.S. Energy Department has offered a $359.1 million loan guarantee to Sempra Energy, the San Diego-based energy giant, for Mesquite Solar 1, a 150-megawatt solar photovoltaic facility planned about 45 miles west of Phoenix. San Francisco-based Pacific Gas & Electric signed a 20-year power purchase agreement for the electricity generated by the facility.

Bruce V. Bigelow is the editor of Xconomy San Diego. You can e-mail him at bbigelow@xconomy.com or call (619) 669-8788 Follow @bvbigelow

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