Seattle Moving Ahead as World Leader in Windpower

Seattle is proposing the largest single purchase of power from the world’s largest windfarm, the 450 turbine Stateline facility on the border of Washington and Oregon.

SEATTLE, Oregon, US, 2001-10-09 [SolarAccess.com] Mayor Paul Schell has asked City Council to authorize a transaction with PacifiCorp Power Marketing Inc., which would make Seattle the largest purchaser of wind power by a public utility in the United States. “With this wind purchase, Seattle will be on the forefront of renewable energy in the nation and the world,” says Schell. “Seattle continues to show its leadership on environmental issues.” “This purchase is in line with two very important long-range city goals: providing electricity for Seattle without air pollution, and using conservation and renewable resources to meet as much of our energy demands as possible,” he adds. “This wind purchase will give Seattle a high-quality renewable resource, encourage economic development in eastern Washington and provide financial incentives for further new wind resource development.” The ordinance authorizes City Light to begin purchasing power from the 50 MW of installed capacity at the Stateline Wind Generating Project, beginning January 1 of next year. This will increase to 100 MW by next August and possibly to 175 MW by August 2004. The 262 MW Stateline facility is under construction in Walla Walla County, Washington, and Umatilla County, Oregon. When completed next January, will be one of the world’s largest windfarms with 450 turbines. Seattle will receive power from Stateline for 20 years under the proposed agreement with PPM. The price for energy generated in January, including costs the utility will incur to store the intermittent power and deliver it as a firm energy product, will be less than 5 cents per kilowatt hour and is comparable to costs for electricity generated by natural-gas-powered turbines. The power purchase contract and the integration agreements do more than provide long-term contracts for wind resources, explain officials. They also demonstrate that wind is clearly competitive, and will inform regional discussions as to the costs of turning the intermittent wind resource into a firm, practical and usable product. Schell says that City Light’s commitment to an additional 75 MW from wind after 2002 will provide an economic incentive for further development of wind power, either at the Stateline Project or elsewhere.
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