Rosemead, California [RenewableEnergyAccess.com] Southern California Edison (SCE) further strengthens its renewable energy portfolio with 324 megawatts (MW) after signing seven new long-term contracts with independent renewable energy power generators in geothermal, biomass and wind. The utility, which will submit the agreements to the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC), also reports progress on additional renewable energy initiatives.“These new contracts help us address two priorities — finding additional generation to meet our customers’ growing energy needs, and securing environmentally friendly resources,” said Pedro Pizarro, SCE Senior Vice President of Power Procurement. The winning bidders in SCE’s Renewable Power Solicitation are in geothermal, biomass and wind, although SCE reports that its 2006 solicitation has attracted proposals from wind, solar, biomass, and geothermal providers. In addition, SCE is pursuing solutions to the state’s need for additional transmission line links to areas of untapped renewable energy. “These new agreements are only the first results of a successful 2005 solicitation,” said SCE Director of Renewable and Alternative Energy Stuart Hemphill. “We continue to work with other renewable resource developers on significant, additional renewable energy contracts that we hope to complete in the near future.” SCE’s current renewable portfolio can deliver more than 2,700 MW of electricity, from wind, geothermal, solar, biomass, SCE-owned small hydro and independently owned small hydro. SCE, an Edison International company, procures more than 13 billion kilowatt-hours of renewable energy per year — more than any U.S. utility or state — except California. SCE currently serves between 16% and 17% of its customers’ needs with renewable energy, and is working toward a goal of having at least 20% of its power deliveries under contract with renewable suppliers.