Utility to Buy Four Percent of Energy From RE

In a move that will greatly increase the region’s use of Renewable Energy in 2003 and beyond, San Diego Gas & Electric (SDG&E) has purchased enough power to supply approximately 100,000 homes with electricity from wind and biomass sources.

San Diego, California – November 7, 2002 [SolarAccess.com] “SDG&E is committed to developing energy solutions for a competitive regional economy,” said James Avery, senior VP of electric transmission for SDG&E. “Increased Renewable Energy should help to stabilize prices while providing additional options for our customers. We will also be creating new business opportunities and improving the environment.” San Diego residents receive the bulk of their power from two sources: long-term energy contracts, most of which rely on natural gas-powered generation, signed by the state’s Department of Water Resources during the energy crisis; and SDG&E’s few remaining generation assets, including a 20 percent interest in San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station. SDG&E will begin directly purchasing the remaining amount of its customers’ needs on January 1. A large portion of those needs will be met using power from new projects, which will increase the amount of Renewable Energy available in the region and the state. “By making an aggressive commitment to Renewable Energy, SDG&E has taken the first critical steps toward reaching the 20 percent standard enacted earlier this year by the California legislature,” said Matt Freedman, staff attorney with The Utility Reform Network (TURN), California’s largest ratepayer advocacy organization. “Increasing Renewable Energy usage will promote stable prices, reliable electricity supplies and provide a critical long-term insurance policy for San Diego residents.” SDG&E has signed contracts with 11 suppliers for 15 Renewable Energy projects that will produce nearly 4 percent of its expected customers electricity needs for 2003, and will supply approximately 7 percent of SDG&E’s customer needs in 2004. The contracts range from five to 15 years in length. The California Public Utilities Commission must approve the contracts. SDG&E is a regulated public utility that provides service to 3 million consumers through 1.3 million electric meters and 775,000 natural gas meters in San Diego and southern Orange counties.
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