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Major utilities and PV players at PHOTON's Solar ElectricUtility Conference in San Francisco

(PresseBox) (Aachen, ) PHOTON, the world's leading solar publisher, will hold its 3rd Solar Electric Utility Conference on Feb. 4, 2010 in San Francisco (

The goal of the conference is to help to prepare stakeholders and interested parties in the utilityscale solar power plant business for big things to come. In the US, the Department of the Interior is about to make it easier for at least 13 largescale CSP and PV projects to use public land, including 5.3 GW that could break ground in 2010. And in mid-November, the Chinese government selected nearly 300 PV projects with almost 650 MW of capacity from an industry wish list that includes applications for over 12 GW. Germany is estimated to install between 3 and 4 GW of PV power just in 2009.

But that's only the start. Investors and electric utilities are increasingly being drawn to solar power plants due to:

- Scale: After a weak first half of 2009, PV is back on its strong growth trajectory, expanding from 4 GW of cell/module production in 2007 to an annual production exceeding 50 GW in the next few years.

- Cost: Solar electricity costs continue to fall rapidly. The levelized cost of PV electricity, already lower than 20 US cents per kWh, will drop to less than 15 US cents per kWh in much of the OECD by 2012 - and in some cases to less than 10 US cents per kWh.

- Markets: Driven by renewable portfolio standards and other financial incentives, utilityscale PV and CSP systems are experiencing strong growth in many markets - from the US and China to Germany and countries on the African continent.

The conference will examine solar's impact on the traditional powergeneration sector - from business opportunities to develop new revenue streams to economic challenges from displaced revenue, profits and possibly negative network effects for utility companies, by focusing on:

- Solar sector growth and cost estimates through 2012, and implications for solar and traditional electricity players
- Utility activities of solar companies
- Solar activities of utilities and project developers
- Technical & economical challenges

To read the conference agenda, please go to:

PHOTON's 3rd Solar Electric Utility Conference is a forum for all decision makers involved or interested in utilityscale solar - from representatives of electric utilities and PV companies to investors and big solar system operators.

The event will take place as part of the Solar Terawatthours Conference Series ( and in combination with PHOTON's Photovoltaic Show 2010 USA (