August 19, 2008

California Utility Signs Deal on Big Wind Power Project

California utility signs deal on big wind power project

LOS ANGELES, Aug. 18 (Xinhua) -- Southern California Edison ( SCE) has signed a 20-year contract with DCE, an affiliate of the New York-based power producer Caithness Energy, to provide up to 909 megawatts of wind power, the utility announced Monday.

The project, called Caithness Shepherd's Flat, will be one of the world's largest fully permitted wind farms once completed, according to a press release.

The project involves the installation of 303 wind turbines across an area of 80 square kilometers in north-central Oregon between 2011 and 2012, but requires no additional or upgraded transmission lines.

Shepherd's Flat is expected to generate 2 billion kilowatt- hours per year of renewable energy, which is more than one-tenth of SCE's overall renewable portfolio.

"This contract is a crown jewel in our renewable energy portfolio," said Stuart Hemphill, SCE vice president for renewable and alternative power. "The project is attractive to SCE because of its size, near-term delivery and its competitive price."

Caithness Energy is a privately held independent power producer, which focuses on renewable geothermal, wind and solar power projects.

"Caithness has been successfully partnering with Southern California Edison since the 1980s to bring renewable energy to the region," said Les Gelber, president and chief operating officer of Caithness Energy. "The Shepherd's Flat project is particularly exciting and will bring a significant new renewable energy supply to the western United States."

SCE says it leads the United States in renewable energy delivery, procuring about 12.5 billion kilowatt-hours of renewable energy in 2007, more than any other utility companies in the country.

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