California utility PG&E this morning is set to announce its latest wind power deal, an agreement to buy 150 megawatts from a new Solano County project that now gives the utility more than 1 gigawatt of wind energy under contract. The wind farm north of San Francisco will go online in December 2008 and will be operated by enXco, a Southern California green power company owned by French energy firm EDF Energies Nouvelle. EnXco also runs wind farms in the Midwest and has a deal to supply 205.5 megawatts of wind power to San Diego Gas & Electric (SRE). PG&E (PCG) has lagged its Southern California counterparts in tapping wind energy. For instance, late last year in a single deal with an Australian wind developer, Southern California Edison (EIX) contracted to buy 1.5 gigawatts – 10 times the size of the enXco agreement. One gigawatt can power some 750,000 homes. Such projects in SoCal’s windy Tehachapi region face at least one big hurdle: Without multibillion-dollar transmission line upgrades, there’s no way to get all that greenhouse gas-free power from the wind farms to Southern California cities. Even with all the wind energy under development in California, the state ranks a distant second to Texas, where wind wildcatters are thinking big. Billionaire oilman T. Boone Pickens, for one, plans to prospect the skies by building a 4-gigawatt wind farm on 200,000 acres.
PG&E to Generate a Gigawatt of Wind Power
October 29, 2007 by Todd Woody