PG&E Seeks Approval For New Geothermal Energy Contract Utility Reaches Major Renewable Energy Milestone
Release Date: February 15, 2008
Contact: PG&E External Communications (415) 973-5930
SAN FRANCISCO - Pacific Gas and Electric Company announced today that it is seeking approval for a 175 Megawatt (MW) geothermal power purchasing agreement with Calpine Corporation. The agreement consolidates six existing qualifying facility agreements totaling 118 MW and adds 57 MW of new renewable energy to PG&E's supply. With this agreement, 20 percent of PG&E's contracts for future energy delivery now meet California's renewable energy standard.
"This agreement marks a major milestone toward meeting California's renewable standard," said Fong Wan, vice president of energy procurement at PG&E. "PG&E already provides our customers with some of the cleanest energy in the nation and we will continue to aggressively add more renewables to our portfolio."
Starting in September 2008, the agreement will deliver renewable energy from The Geysers Geothermal Field in northern California - enough new energy to power 45,000 homes in northern and central California.
The Geysers Geothermal Field, located 75 miles north of San Francisco, California, is the largest producer of geothermal electricity in the world. Commercial geothermal power has been generated continuously at The Geysers Field since 1960. Geothermal energy accounts for three percent of PG&E's current overall energy mix.
On average, more than 50 percent of the energy PG&E delivers comes from carbon-free sources. The agreement filed today with the California Public Utilities Commission extends PG&E's broader renewable energy portfolio. Qualifying renewable sources in PG&E's portfolio include solar, wind, biomass, geothermal, and small hydroelectric.
Since July 2007, PG&E has signed renewable energy contracts totaling 1,024 MW, including this Calpine agreement, 553 MW of solar thermal with Solel-MSP-1, 85 MW of wind power from PPM, two MW of wave energy with Finavera Renewables, 177 MW of solar thermal with Ausra Inc., and 150 MW of wind energy with enXco. PG&E is still seeking regulatory approval for the Calpine, Finavera, Ausra and enXco contracts.
California's Renewable Portfolio Standard (RPS) Program requires each utility to increase its procurement of eligible renewable generating resources by one percent of load per year to achieve a twenty percent renewables goal by 2010. The RPS Program was passed by the Legislature and is managed by California's Public Utilities Commission and Energy Commission.