Energy Commission Auction Increases California's Yield of Green Power

For immediate release: October 3, 2001
Media Contact: Percy Della - 916-654-4989

Energy Commission Auction Increases
California's Yield of Green Power


Sacramento - Nine more new renewable power plants -- with a combined production capacity of 300 megawatts for California's electricity market -- emerged as the successful bidders in a financial incentives auction conducted recently by the California Energy Commission.

The projects include a 30-megawatt facility powered by used tires in Imperial County, a 21-megawatt small hydroelectric plant in El Dorado County and seven wind projects with a total generation of 249 megawatts. The wind projects are located in four sites in Kern county and one each in Alameda, Palm Springs and Solano Counties.

Target on-line dates for the new plants range from February to December of next year.

"These new projects represent an important step towards Governor Davis' goal to increase California's yield of electricity from renewables from 12 percent today to 17 percent by 2006," said Commissioner Michal (spelling correct) Moore. "We're very pleased that this auction was a success," said Moore, the chair of the Commission's Electricity and Natural Gas Committee.

The auction was the third of its kind conducted by the Commission's Renewable Energy Program. Successful bidders will receive incentive payments of up to 1.5 cents for every kilowatt-hour of renewable electricity they generate, and incentives are paid for the first five years of project operation.

As in the two previous actions, bidders submitted the cents per kilowatt-hour incentive they wished to receive, along with an estimate of their first five years of generation. To qualify for funding, projects had to be located in California and produce renewable electricity for sale, not just for on-site use. Bids were accepted from the lowest incentive to the highest, until the available funds were exhausted.

Previous auctions held in June 1998 and November 2000 resulted in awards of more than $200 million for 1000 megawatts of new renewable generating capacity. Successful projects receive production incentives for five years once they are on-line and producing electricity.

Eligible "green" technologies are biomass, digester gas, geothermal, landfill gas, photovoltaics, small hydroelectric (30 megawatts or less), solar thermal electric, waste tire, and wind. Of the 72 successful projects from the first two auctions, 35 projects totaling more than 200 megawatts have been completed and are delivering electricity to the grid.

Results of the third auction can be found on the Commission's Web site at: www.energy.ca.gov/contracts. Information regarding the Commission's Renewable Energy Program is available at: www.energy.ca.gov/renewables.

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