Southern California Edison (SCE) signed a 20-year contract with DCE, an affiliate of Caithness Energy, which will provide up to 909 megawatts of wind power. Developers say that once completed, the Caithness project will be one of the world’s largest fully permitted wind farms.
The project, called Caithness Shepherd’s Flat, involves the installation of 303 wind turbines across 30 square miles in Gilliam and Morrow Counties in North-Central Oregon between 2011 and 2012. 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, Renewable and Alternative Power. “The project is attractive to SCE because of its size, near-term delivery and its competitive price.”
The project will benefit SCE customers because it requires no additional or upgraded transmission lines, which significantly lessens the time it takes for a power plant of this magnitude to come on line.
“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’s longstanding commitment to renewable energy
SCE leads the nation in renewable energy delivery, procuring about 12.5 billion kilowatt-hours of renewable energy in 2007, more than any U.S. utility. In 2007, renewable energy constituted about 16 percent of SCE’s total energy portfolio. SCE currently has sufficient contracts in place that, when delivering, will meet or exceed 20 percent or more of its customers’ energy needs with renewable energy.
In 2007, SCE delivered the following renewable energy portfolio to its customers:
* Geothermal: 7.71 billion kilowatt-hours (62 percent)
* Wind: 2.58 billion kilowatt-hours (21 percent)
* Solar: 667 million kilowatt-hours (5 percent)
* Biogas: 580 million kilowatt-hours (5 percent)
* Small hydro: 557 million kilowatt-hours (4 percent)
* Biomass: 336 million kilowatt-hours (3 percent)