For Immediate Release: October 26, 1998
Media Contact: Claudia Chandler -- 916 654-4989

Funding Agreements Approved For
Imperial County Geothermal Projects

The California Energy Commission has approved funding agreements for two geothermal power plants to be built in Imperial County. The projects are targeted to produce a total of 59.5 megawatts of renewable energy.

Salton Sea Power L.L.C. will receive $25,548,000 or 0.76-cents a kilowatt-hour produced over five years by its 49 megawatt plant. CE Turbo will receive $5,752,000 or 1.34-cents a kilowatt-hour generated from its 10.5 megawatt project over the same period.

Both projects are the first to satisfy funding agreements among the 55 successful proposals granted conditional funding in June, through an auction conducted by the Energy Commission. Projects with the lowest bid requests won after a process wherein applicants were asked to declare the least subsidy needed to begin construction, or to obtain financing for an alternative energy generating facility.

In all, $162 million was allocated through the auction to 24 companies for new wind, geothermal, landfill gas, biomass, digester gas, and small hydroelectric projects. The amount represents 30 percent of the $540 million renewables fund established by AB 1890, the law that established electricity utility industry restructuring. The law provides for the collection of funds from customers of the stateŐs three largest investor-owned electric utilities over four years, beginning this year, to support existing, new, and emerging renewable technologies.

"The ease of the approval process for the first two funding agreements is indicative of a very successful start," said Commissioner Michal Moore, chairman of the CommissionŐs Renewables Program Committee. "We expect more funding agreements to be ready for review and approval in the next few months."

Moore said the funding agreements are required for each proposed project to ensure that they become and continue to be eligible generators during the funding period.

The 55 successful bids represent nearly 550 megawatts of new renewable capacity, a big boost, says Moore, to the development of renewable power which has become stagnant in the last decade.

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