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California issues contracts for 300 MW of new wind

In an auction of renewables power contracts in which wind was the largest winner, new or repowered wind projects totalling some 300 MW were tentatively chosen for more than $45 million in financial incentives from the California Energy Commission (CEC). This means about 300 MW of wind projects are planned in California over the next three and a half years. The 55 winning projects, of which at least 24 are wind, will receive a total of $162 million a year, or an average of $0.012/kWh, the CEC announced on July 9. The "New Renewables Resources Account," part of the state's restructuring legislation, is designed to subsidise renewable energy projects in California during the transition to a deregulated market (Windpower Monthly, May 1998). Four projects by Enron Wind Development Corporation were tentatively awarded about $16.8 million in financing -- by far the largest amount awarded to one bidder -- while 15 projects by Venture Pacific Inc will be awarded more than $8.5 million. Other tentative awards per project are as follows: $5.47 million to Mark Tech Corporation/Foras Energy Inc; $4.98 million to Whitewater Energy Corporation; $4.38 million to Windland Inc; $3.19 million to Painted Hills Wind Developers, and $1.85 million to CalWind Resources Inc. To be eligible for the incentive, the projects must be located within the state and constructed between September 1996 and January 1, 2002.

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