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Seattle looks to wind for the future

Seattle is planning to meet all its future electricity load growth with renewables -- and this time it will look to wind and other resources rather than the usual hydro power. Seattle City and Light, the city's public electric utility, has requested proposals for up to 100 MW of new capacity. This is the amount it says the city will need over the next ten years, enough for over 82,000 homes. The utility will consider a broad range of generation, including wind, solar, geothermal and biomass. Hydro proposals will not be accepted, because the utility wants to diversify its renewables portfolio. Currently, all 1800 MW of the utility's renewable energy comes from hydro. Proposals are due August 25 and Seattle City and Light expects to award contracts in December. Back in February, the city resolved to replace its 8% share of a coal plant with renewables (Windpower Monthly, March 2000). It instructed the utility to invest at least 0.49% of revenue each year in non-hydro renewable sources.

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