California Utility OKs Renewable Energy Projects

Southern California Edison (SCE) has submitted for review by the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) six new long-term contracts with power generators using wind, biomass, and geothermal energy. If approved by the CPUC, the contracts would add as much as 427 MW to SCE’s renewable power portfolio, already the nation’s largest, when construction is completed between 2006 and 2009.

“We congratulate the winning bidders in our second major solicitation under California’s new renewable portfolio standard,” said SCE CEO Alan Fohrer. “These contracts represent a significant step in SCE’s continuing commitment to renewable energy as well as the implementation of the state’s renewable policy.” Five of the contracts would result in the construction of new renewable generation capacity at a time when California is attempting to cope with surging population growth and electricity demand. The sixth involves the significant expansion of an existing facility. The contracts are as follows, arranged by company, location, technology, contract length, and installed MW: – Coram Energy, Tehachapi, Wind — 20 yrs, 12 MW – McCarthy Farms Biofuels, Imperial Valley, Biomass — 15 yrs, 5 MW – SeaWest Wind Power, San Gorgonio, Wind — 20 yrs, 37 MW – Silvan Biomass, Western Sierra, Biomass — 20 yrs 7.5 – Vulcan Power Co. Western Nevada Geothermal — 20 yrs 30.0 – Western Wind, Tehachapi, Wind — 20 yrs 50.0 “We are encouraged that this solicitation process has yielded competitively priced renewable power for our customers requiring no state subsidy,” said SCE Vice President of Power Procurement Pedro Pizarro. “We will continue to look for opportunities to add to our renewable portfolio.” More than 150 independent renewable power producers are under contract to SCE. They can generate more than 2,500 MW of electricity — approximately 18.2 percent of the power SCE delivered to its customers during 2004. California’s renewable portfolio standard requires that investor-owned utilities obtain 20 percent of their power from renewable sources by 2010.
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