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Western cities, states rush for wind power

Wyoming energy officials hope a proposed contract for the city of Los Angeles to buy 82 megawatts of Wyoming wind power represents a trend across the West.

The 16-year contract with PPM Energy Inc. is the first such long-term deal for the Southern California metropolis.

The 82-megawatt power agreement with PPM Energy would supply enough energy to power 39,000 homes in Los Angeles each year.

Cities such as Los Angeles and states including California, Nevada and Colorado have self-imposed renewable energy portfolios which require utilities to get specific percentages of their electrical supply from renewable resources -- usually wind, hydropower, solar, biomass or geothermal.

Los Angeles, for example, is voluntarily trying to meet California's 20 percent renewable portfolio standard by 2010. Short on time and long on the need for clean energy, many states and municipalities across the West are more willing than ever to commit to wind energy.

"Also, the increase in customer demand for wind has been the volatility in fossil fuel prices," said Jan Johnson, spokeswoman for Portland, Ore.-based PPM Energy.

PPM Energy buys and markets wind power from Uinta County's Southwest Wyoming Wind Energy Center, which is owned and operated by Florida-based FPL Energy. Johnson said more wind energy is being sold on... more [truncated due to possible copyright]  
The 16-year contract with PPM Energy Inc. is the first such long-term deal for the Southern California metropolis.

The 82-megawatt power agreement with PPM Energy would supply enough energy to power 39,000 homes in Los Angeles each year.

Cities such as Los Angeles and states including California, Nevada and Colorado have self-imposed renewable energy portfolios which require utilities to get specific percentages of their electrical supply from renewable resources -- usually wind, hydropower, solar, biomass or geothermal.

Los Angeles, for example, is voluntarily trying to meet California's 20 percent renewable portfolio standard by 2010. Short on time and long on the need for clean energy, many states and municipalities across the West are more willing than ever to commit to wind energy.

"Also, the increase in customer demand for wind has been the volatility in fossil fuel prices," said Jan Johnson, spokeswoman for Portland, Ore.-based PPM Energy.

PPM Energy buys and markets wind power from Uinta County's Southwest Wyoming Wind Energy Center, which is owned and operated by Florida-based FPL Energy. Johnson said more wind energy is being sold on long-term contracts, between 15 and 30 years.

Wyoming ranked seventh in the nation for wind power generation, but has the potential to be among the nation's top wind power generators, according to the U.S. Department of Energy.

Wyoming energy officials hope the demand for Wyoming's wind will also create new electrical transmission pathways to export more coal-based power.

"That's the hypothesis that's driving our thinking," Wyoming Infrastructure Authority Executive Director Steve Waddington told the Star-Tribune in a recent interview.

If approved, the 16-year, 82-megawatt contract for Wyoming wind will bring Los Angeles' renewable portfolio to 6.5 percent -- still a ways from the goal of 20 percent by 2010, according to Carol Tucker, spokeswoman for Los Angeles' Department of Water and Power board.

"Still a ways to go, but we are steadily increasing our amount of renewables," Tucker said.

Tucker said Los Angeles expects to begin construction of its own wind farm in California this summer which would generate 120 megawatts.

Energy reporter Dustin Bleizeffer can be reached at (307) 682-3388 or dustin.bleizeffer@casperstartribune.net.


Source: http://www.jacksonholestart...

JUN 8 2006
https://www.windaction.org/posts/2959-western-cities-states-rush-for-wind-power
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