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Three Northwest utilities seek hundreds of megawatt

Three Northwest utilities have issued four solicitations for more generation that should result in orders for several hundred megawatt of wind plant. PacifiCorp is seeking up to 1400 MW of renewable energy within eight years, with 1100 MW of that likely to be wind generation, says the utility's Dave Eskelsen. The first solicitation asks bidders to provide 175 MW of purchased energy in 2006 that will be used to firm up an anticipated 200 MW of intermittent wind generation the utility wants to come online in Idaho, Utah and Wyoming in 2007. It will add an additional 200 MW of wind generation in those states in 2009 and again in 2011. On top of that, the utility anticipates releasing future solicitations for 100 MW in 2006, 200 MW in 2008 and 200 MW in 2010, all wind projects to be located in Oregon and Washington. PacifiCorp has 1.4 million customers in the five states. Meanwhile, Portland General Electric released an all source solicitation last month to get an idea about price and availability of future generation, says spokesman Scott Simms. "We're not biased about any resource. Wind is welcome at the table with all the other options," he says. State regulators, he says, are clear that PGE acquisitions must be least-cost. The utility, which has about 750,000 customers in Oregon, is seeking 600 average MW to come online in January 2006 and 400 MW by December 2005. Lastly, Puget Sound Energy in Washington says it will release a solicitation in the next few months to help it meet its corporate goal of 5% renewables in ten years. That could gain the utility as much as 130 MW of wind generation.

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