Overshadowed by PG&E’s 553-megawatt solar power plant deal this week was the California utility’s agreement with PPM Energy to buy 85 megawatts of wind energy from its new Oregon wind farm. That means PG&E now has 711 megawatts of wind power online with nearly a gigawatt under contract, according to PG&E (PCG) spokesperson Jennifer Zerwer. Tapping wind energy from border states like Oregon lets PG&E avoid the transmission obstacles that have bedeviled wind-rich Southern California where needed and expensive upgrades to power lines are slowing new projects. PG&E already obtains a large amount of hydro power from Oregon so it can piggyback new wind energy sources on to existing transmission lines. This week’s announcements underscores how the United States has become a rich market for overseas green energy companies. So far PG&E’s big solar power deals have been with Israeli companies while its latest wind energy agreement is with a subsidiary of the U.K’s ScottishPower, which recently agreed to be acquired by Spanish energy giant Iberdrola. PG&E, meanwhile, is investigating getting wind energy from British Columbia and is talking to U.K. wave energy company Ocean Power Delivery about building a wave farm off the Northern California coast.
PG&E’s Big Wind Deals
July 27, 2007 by Todd Woody