Washington state regulators approved a plan last month that allows Puget Sound Energy (PSE), an investor-owned utility, to begin its journey towards a self-imposed renewable portfolio standard of 10% by 2013. The utility immediately released a request for proposals (RFP) for 150 MW of wind energy it wants to see online by the end of 2005. It will follow that with two more solicitations for renewable energy resources, including wind, in 2004 and 2005 until PSE either owns or buys about 900 MW of renewables. "A wind resource is going to play an integral role in our strategy to ensure an environmentally-responsible approach in securing stable energy supplies and reasonable prices for our customers," says PSE's Eric Markell. The regulatory approval was conditioned on PSE filing for public comment on an all source draft RFP this month for resources that would come online by the winter of 2007-08. The utility's energy portfolio is currently made up of 46% hydroelectric, 19% natural gas cogeneration, 31% coal and 4% other, including less than 1% wind power through a one-year contract for wind generation from FPL Energy's 300 MW Stateline wind farm. The 10% goal is an outgrowth of the utility's integrated resource plan completed in April 2003, which suggests that the utility pursue a more balanced resource portfolio to meet load growth in its rapidly growing Puget Sound service area.
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