Southern California Edison: Let's go up on the roof

What do you do with 65 million square feet (that's nearly two square miles) of unused rooftops on California commercial buildings? If you're Southern California Edison (SCE), you figure they're as good a place as any for a massive solar cell installation.

What do you do with 65 million square feet (that's nearly two square miles) of unused rooftops on California commercial buildings? If you're Southern California Edison (SCE), you figure they're as good a place as any for a massive solar cell installation. Which is precisely what the utility announced today with some help from California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger.

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Check out Ah-nold at the press conference announcing the installation.

The project will be deployed over the next five years and the estimated cost will be $875 million. SCE disclosed its intentions when it applied for approval from the California Public Utilities Commission. The work will focus on areas in Inland Empire, San Bernardino and Riverside counties. It intends to install about 1 megawatt per week; the total project will involve about 250 megawatts of solar capacity.

And, here's a flash animation of how the project will play out.

California has a stated goal of requiring that 20 percent of the state's electricity be generated by renewable sources by 2010. The SCE project plays off the Million Solar Roofs program, which provides incentives for solar projects in California.