United States

United States

BPA awards contracts for 830 MW of wind power

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After stalling the announcement for over a week, the US Department of Energy announced on June 25 that the Bonneville Power Administration, a DOE agency, will sign pre-development agreements for seven wind projects totalling 830 MW in the US Northwest by the end of 2003. The agreements, representing a 20% increase in the nation's wind capacity, are with Texas companies Zilkha Renewable Energy and Columbia Wind Power, SeaWest Wind Power of California, and Pacific Winds of Boise, Idaho. BPA says the cost of the power is expected to be less than $0.03/kWh, including the cost of firming-up the intermittent wind generation.

BPA already has 34 MW of wind and is in contract negotiations for or has under environmental review another 425 MW. It released a 1000 MW solicitation in April (Windpower Monthly, May 2001) and received 25 bids for more than 2600 MW.

Although BPA generally releases its own news, the DOE took control of the announcement to further the Bush energy policy: "BPA's action responds to the Bush Administration National Energy Policy, and the attention it focused on developing clean and diverse sources of domestic energy supply. The National Energy Policy recognises the role of wind and other renewable energy sources as an important part of that diversification."

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