"This acquisition keeps EWEB on track with our board's goal of adding one per cent of our load in new renewable energy supplies each year," says general manager Randy Berggren. With the purchase, EWEB's energy supply portfolio now includes about 36 MW of wind capacity, or about 5% of its total supply. EWEB is also a 20% owner in Wyoming's Foote Creek Rim 1 project, built in 1998 with PacifiCorp and the Bonneville Power Administration (BPA), and buys a portion of the output from subsequent expansions at Foote Creek.
Some of the wind generation goes to customers who chose the utility's Windpower program, which EWEB's Lance Robertson says is 50% subscribed, while the remainder is included in the utility's power base. In April, EWEB tacked a surcharge onto customer bills to cover the cost of high priced electricity during the West Coast power crisis in 2001, but held prices steady for its 2600 Windpower customers -- almost 4% of its customer base.
The contract with PPM includes power "shaping and firming" agreements, ensuring that electricity will be delivered on demand even if the wind farm is off-line or not operating at full production. PPM also has a 20 year power purchase agreement with Seattle City Light, a Washington municipal utility, for 50 MW from the Stateline project that will grow to 100 MW in 2002, 150 MW in 2004 and could reach 175 MW in 2004. Although it is selling another 90 MW from the project to BPA, a federal power marketing agency, PPM still has power for sale, including the rights to power from a 39.6 MW expansion (Windpower Monthly, May 2002), says PPM's Jan Johnson.