Gaelectric Welcomes BPA 2010 Network Open Season Decision on Network Upgrades

June 3, 2011

GREAT FALLS, Mont., June 3, 2011 /PRNewswire/ — Gaelectric North America President, Eamonn McGrath, today (Friday) welcomed the recent Network Open Season (NOS) decision from the Bonneville Power Administration (BPA) to undertake the Colstrip Upgrade Project (CUP) on the BPA electricity transmission system at rolled-in rates.

Commenting on the NOS decision, Eamonn McGrath, said: “This decision is a very welcome development and means that the backbone to the BPA transmission system can be upgraded to accommodate additional generation capacity at current transmission system charge levels. This will allow Gaelectric to actively market our planned 430MW Harlowton renewable energy site to power off-takers in the Pacific Northwest and other western markets.”

Mr. McGrath said: “Gaelectric has highlighted that the Montana wind profile particularly matches the load profile in the Pacific Northwest in being both winter peaking and diurnal. It complements the existing Columbia River Gorge wind resource, which is both summer peaking and nocturnal, and has a yearly average Net Capacity Factor in excess of 41%. This makes Montana wind extremely attractive to off-takers in the Pacific Northwest who are currently endeavouring to manage a substantially one-dimensional wind regime.”

He added: “The Montana wind profile is also a good fit with the seasonality of hydro energy supplies. As it’s availability sits on the shoulders of the hydro season we are convinced that Montana wind will substantially contribute to a solution for Pacific Northwest off-takers trying to achieve their mandatory renewable targets whilst availing of cheap hydro in season.”

Concluding, Mr. McGrath said: “While we understand that the BPA’s decision is subject to a previously planned sub-synchronous resonance study and the normal caveats, this announcement will be seen as a major step in bringing Montana’s exceptional and unique reserves of renewable wind energy to off-takers and customers in the Pacific Northwest markets.”

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About Gaelectric Group

Gaelectric is a group of companies, founded in 2004 with assets in Europe and the US. Each Group company is active in different fields of renewable power generation and energy storage with experienced teams specialized in all aspects of project planning, permitting, finance, engineering and management. Gaelectric is active in Northern Ireland, the Republic of Ireland and North America (Gaelectric North America) where Gaelectric operates regional development offices.

US operations: In 2006, Gaelectric North America opened its offices in Great Falls, Montana and now employees 18 people in its overall North American operation. In Montana, Gaelectric has secured approximately 275,000 acres of high wind resource areas, and has a medium-term objective of bringing up to 2,000MW of wind generation capacity to shovel ready stage.

SOURCE Gaelectric Group

Source: newswire

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