California is already leading the nation in solar efforts. It’s also seeking to revamp its power grid and go green with a number of other power sources including geothermal and clean fission.
Southern California Edison (SCE) is one of California's largest power utilities. It has already committed to going green in a big way, with 7.71B kWh of geothermal, 2.58B kWh of wind power, 667M kWh of solar, 580M kWh of biogas, 556M kWh of small hydro, and 336M kWh of biomass generated power generated for customers in 2007. This placed SCE as the nation's largest supplier of alternative energy, with over 16 percent of its power from renewable sources.
Now SCE is tackling wind power on a large scale, signing contracts for 909 MW of new capacity. The new contract is with DCE, an affiliate of Caithness Energy and will be one of the world's largest fully permitted wind farms. With it, California moves closer to surpassing Texas as wind power capital of the U.S.
The new installation will actually be installed outside California in Gilliam and Morrow Counties in North-Central Oregon between 2011 and 2012. The installation will consist of 303 3-MW turbines in a 30 mile radius. Shepherd’s Flat will generate around 2B kWh of wind power for SCE, about 10 percent of its total alternative energy portfolio. The wind-rich region is one of the nation's "bread baskets" of wind power.
Stuart Hemphill, SCE vice president, Renewable and Alternative Power, lauded the latest contract, stating, "This contract is a crown jewel in our renewable energy portfolio. The project is attractive to SCE because of its size, near-term delivery and its competitive price."
One key to the project's potential is that no new power transmission lines need to be built. This will allow it to come online much more quickly and start making returns on the investment sooner. Wind power is also cheaper per kWh than solar or many other alternative energy sources.
Les Gelber, president and chief operating officer of Caithness Energy sums up the new effort, stating, "Caithness has been successfully partnering with Southern California Edison since the 1980s to bring renewable energy to the region. The Shepherd’s Flat project is particularly exciting and will bring a significant new renewable energy supply to the western United States."
quote: They aren't building it in California! Learn to read!
quote: CA isn't a very windy place except for the deserts and that's where the current windmills are.
quote: Whenever I drive along highway 58
quote: This placed SCE as the nation's largest supplier of alternative energy, with over 16 percent of its power from renewable sources.
quote: Actually, what Cali does is sue other states to provide them additional power because they don't want to build new "dirty" plants in the state.
quote: Yeah, what Spuke said. Do you watch even your local news at all? I'm several time zones away and I apparently am more aware of your states issues than you are.
quote: That is because the US has such an old and aging power infrastructure.
quote: Sheesh right now put a wind farm in front of Washington DC and every state capitol. It's election season, gotta make use of all the wasted money and hot air.
quote: 3Mw turbines down interstate highway medians would provide a LOT of electricity....
quote: My 2000sq ft house uses about 200-300 kWh a month (lights, TV, computers, etc).
quote: I use maybe 350 in the winter (natural gas heat), 1300 in the summer with AC kicking in, with a 2500 sq ft house.
quote: With current costs ranging from 15 to 20 cents per kWh, and wholesale coal power costs between 1.5 and 2.5 cents per kWh (and nuclear in a similar range -- 1.7 cents per kWh by estimates from the Nuclear Energy Institute), solar still has a ways to go and likely a few decades before being ready for full deployment.