Federal Utility to Buy Windpower To Advance Energy Security

In year-end contracts that are some of the largest wind energy deals in the United States, Bonneville Power Administration will double its purchase of wind power.

WASHINGTON, DC, US, 2002-01-02 [SolarAccess.com] “BPA’s latest commitment to purchase wind power helps ensure that we are diversifying our energy portfolio,” says energy secretary Spencer Abraham. “Diversity is important for America’s energy security.” In a 25-year deal, BPA will purchase 34 percent of the output from the Stateline Wind Project located on the border of Oregon and Washington. Ninety 90 megawatts will be delivered through PacifiCorp Power Marketing, a subsidiary of ScottishPower, beginning December 29. BPA supplies half of the electricity consumed in the pacific northwest, and this purchase will supply electricity to 18,000 homes. In a second contract, PPM signed the largest public utility wind power contract in the United States, a 20-year deal to supply Seattle City Light with 50 MW of power starting in January. The municipal utility will double its purchase to 100 MW in August 2002, 150 MW in January 2004 and, potentially, to 175 MW in August 2004. “Wind projects are becoming increasingly cost competitive,” says BPA administrator Steve Wright. “The acquisition of these projects will allow us to better understand the real costs of wind integrated with our hydro system.” The first phase of the Stateline project involves 400 turbines arranged in strings on privately-owned hilltops, with total capacity of 265 MW, all of which is marketed by PPM. BPA currently purchases 34 MW of wind power from the Foote Creek windfarm in Wyoming, and recently announced a 50 MW purchase from a windfarm in Condon, Oregon. The federal agency markets hydroelectric power from federal dams in the Columbia River Basin, but it one of the largest suppliers of wind power in the United States.
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