California Wind Plant Expansion Approved

The Sacramento Municipal Utility District (SMUD) Board of Directors voted on two crucial steps to facilitate completion of phase one of the Solano Wind Project, located in the Montezuma Hills outside of Rio Vista.

Sacramento, California – August 1, 2002 [SolarAccess.com] The first vote approved a revision to the original Environmental Impact Report (EIR), first prepared and approved in 1993 when SMUD embarked on the generation of wind power. The revised EIR includes the use of more efficient and reliable wind turbines. The second vote taken recently authorized the award of a turnkey construction services and three-year operation and maintenance (O&M) contract to ABB, Inc. Construction to complete phase one of the project is expected to begin in January with completion by late summer of 2003. ABB, Inc. will complete site engineering and permitting work, purchase and install 10 MW of new wind turbine generators, upgrade capacity at the nearby Russell Substation to accommodate the new generation, as well as provide associated engineering services, warranties and technical support. ABB will also provide O&M services at the site for three years. Last year the SMUD Board of Directors approved a 10-year plan to expand SMUD’s work to power Sacramento with clean, reliable and affordable power. The resource plan includes expanding SMUD’s renowned renewable energy program, including adding enough new wind power to meet the needs of 12,000 homes. SMUD currently gets about 7 percent of its energy needs from non-hydro renewables such as solar and wind. That number is expected to reach 20 percent by 2011. Long-term plans for the Solano Wind Project include the addition of a second phase of wind generation. Phase Two is expected to be completed by 2006 and consist of 35 MW of wind power. SMUD currently owns 5 MW of wind generation including 12 Kenetech wind turbines that went on-line in 1994 and a larger Vestas turbine that was installed in 1999.
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