Shiloh Shows California Leadership in Clean Air, Energy Independence
Largest California Wind Power Plant Due to RPS Comes Online
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November 15, 2006
RIO VISTA, California—Public officials, environmental advocates and energy industry representatives today dedicated the Shiloh Wind Power Plant near Rio Vista, California in Solano County. The project is owned by PPM Energy, a company that owns or controls nearly half the wind power installed in California since the Renewable Portfolio Standard (RPS) was adopted in 2002. The RPS requires California utilities to procure 20 percent of their energy supply from renewable sources by 2017, one of the most aggressive such policies in the nation. The power from Shiloh goes to California customers through power purchase agreements to City of Palo Alto Utilities, Modesto Irrigation District and Pacific Gas & Electric.
"Currently, PPM owns or controls nearly half the wind power installed in California since the Renewable Portfolio Standard (RPS) was adopted in 2002," said Barrett Stambler, vice president, PPM Energy. "PPM's Shiloh project would not have been possible without the support of the Solano County community, the ambitious goals of the state of California, and the successful implementation of those renewable goals by customers Modesto Irrigation District, City of Palo Alto Utilities and Pacific Gas & Electric."
Roy Kuga, vice president of energy supply for customer PG&E said: "Pacific Gas and Electric Company (PG&E) has set a clear goal to become the leading utility in the United States, and we believe any utility who wants to be a leader must also be a leader in developing and promoting clean energy. This project is another example of our commitment to lead California to a cleaner, greener and more efficient energy future."
Palo Alto City Council Member Peter Drekmeier said: "Palo Alto is committed to reducing its environmental footprint through supporting green energy, expanding our energy efficiency programs and empowering our utility customers to take individual actions that will have a positive impact on the environment. I am pleased that Palo Alto is taking a leadership role in reducing greenhouse gases and addressing global warming through its many initiatives including renewable energy purchases like this one."
Customer Modesto Irrigation District (MID) is impressed with the reliability and competitive price of wind energy. "MID is looking for reliable sources of non-polluting renewable energy to add to our diversified electric resource mix, and the Shiloh Wind Power Plant offers that at a competitive price," said Allen Short, MID general manager.
Audrey Chang, staff scientist for the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) emphasizes the benefits wind energy brings to California: "This is exactly the type of project that will help us meet California's global warming pollution reduction goals," said Chang. "Wind farms like this, which are completely emissions-free, are part of the solution. This is what clean energy looks like in practice: less pollution, more jobs, a healthy environment and a strong economy."
Pacific Gas and Electric Company provides natural gas and electric service to approximately 15 million people throughout a 70,000-square-mile service area in northern and central California.
PG&E has a long history of developing, generating, and purchasing renewable power. PG&E currently supplies 30 percent of its customer load from renewable resources: 18 percent from its large hydroelectric facilities and 12 percent from smaller renewable resources that qualify under the State's Renewable Portfolio Standard (RPS) Program.
Roughly half of PG&E's retail electric load is served from generating resources that have no CO2emissions that contribute to global warming.
Palo Alto Facts
Palo Alto has a tradition of over 100 years of successful public utility operation that provides the Palo Alto community with safe reliable utility services and local decision-making over policies, utility ratemaking and environmental programs. The utility also provides a substantial return on the community's investment in public power through support for police, fire, libraries, parks, and other community assets. Palo Alto serves a population of 61,000 people in an area of 26 square miles.
Since the 1960s, at least 55 percent of its electricity has come from clean hydroelectric power and renewable energy sources that are owned or purchased by the City. This year nearly 90 percent of the electricity used in Palo Alto came from these clean resources. Palo Alto has adopted a Renewable Portfolio Standard to achieve 10 percent of its electric supply from new renewable resources by 2008 and 20 percent by 2015. Palo Alto's 20 percent goal will likely be achieved by 2010, five years earlier than expected. Palo Alto has approved five contracts from new renewable energy resources (wind and landfill gas) totaling $252 million. These contracts are expected to provide 17 to 20 percent of the community's electricity needs by 2008.
Nearly 16 percent of Palo Altans are supporting wind and solar energy resources through its PaloAltoGreen Program, an award-winning voluntary 100 percent renewable electric supply option (wind and solar) for electric utility customers. This results in an additional 2.5 percent of electricity supplies from renewable resources and avoids nearly 40 million pounds of CO2 emissions per year. Palo Alto achieved the No. 1 national ranking by participation percentage from the National Renewable Energy Laboratory.
The Modesto Irrigation District (MID) was founded in July 1887 by a vote of the people. MID is the second-oldest irrigation district in California. MID's original mission-which continues today-is to bring water from the Sierra Nevada Mountains to irrigate thirsty farms in California's Central Valley.
Local citizens voted in favor of public power in 1923. MID hooked up its first retail electric customer-the Modesto Junior College-just weeks later. As a public power agency, MID offers the benefits of community ownership, control by locally elected officials, and not-for-profit operation. Today MID serves more than 110,000 residential, commercial, and industrial customers in California's great Central Valley.
MID's earliest power resources were renewable hydroelectric power, which still supplies 30 percent of customer energy needs. MID has adopted a renewable energy policy in line with state requirements and is on track to meet state RPS goals. MID customers presently receive 11 percent of their power from clean, renewable wind energy sources that qualify under the state's RPS. By 2008, renewable energy will climb to 16 percent of MID's diverse resource mix when power generated at a new biomass project comes online. MID is the exclusive purchaser of power this new project will generate from clean municipal wood waste, a qualifying renewable biomass fuel.
About PPM Energy
PPM Energy now has more than 2,000 megawatts of wind energy in operation or under construction. The strength of its renewable project pipeline has allowed the company to increase its 2010 target by more than 50 percent to at least 3,500 megawatts developed or controlled by PPM Energy. PPM Energy balances its supply portfolio with sales to wholesale customers, placing almost all of its output in long-term contracts. Major customers include the cities of Seattle, Sacramento, Eugene, Pasadena, and Anaheim as well as investor-owned utilities such as Xcel Energy and Pacific Gas & Electric Company and the federal Bonneville Power Administration. PPM Energy also creates innovative new products to meet customer needs, such as operations and maintenance services and build-to-sell.