One of the weaknesses of the investment plan is the authority's requirement that any project it seeks to finance must have a "secure revenue stream to repay the amount borrowed with interest," the plan says. Otherwise it can't approve it. As the American Wind Energy Association points out, that means the authority cannot seek bond financing until it has well-defined projects. The authority currently has about 2400 MW of letters of intent from renewable energy suppliers, all in various stages of development. The authority, which is concentrating on ensuring the state maintains a 15% reserve margin in electricity supplies, predicts it will fall 5.9%, or about 3500 MW, short in 2006 and more in later years. It is choosing a "clean energy" strategy to fill that gap. The authority expects regulatory policies, such as a renewables portfolio standard being considered in California, to force private sector involvement. That bill would require utilities to buy 20% of their electricity from renewables generation by 2010.
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