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Pacific Power Selects Four Wind Projects to Drive Wind Power Expansion by 2020

LCG, February 23, 2018--Pacific Power announced earlier this week that it has selected four new wind projects to move towards achieving the company's Energy Vision 2020 initiative. The four wind projects are expected to provide 1,311 MW of new installed electric generating capacity at a cost of approximately $1.5 billion. The four projects will expand the company's owned and contracted wind power by more than 60 percent.

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AEP's 2,000-MW Wind Catcher Project Faces Challenge at Oklahoma Corporation Commission

LCG, February 14, 2018--An Oklahoma Corporation Commission (OCC) administrative law judge on Monday recommended against preapproval of Public Service Co. of Oklahoma's request to to charge its ratepayers to support partial ownership of the 2,000-MW Wind Catcher project and to use some of the electricity generated by the project. The utility, a subsidiary of of American Electric Power (AEP), is requesting authorization to recover estimated costs of about $1.36 billion to become part-owner of the Wind Catcher project and to construct a 765-kV transmission line to deliver electricity to a Public Service Co. of Oklahoma (PSO) substation north of Tulsa.

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Industry News

San Diego County Water Authority Seeks Proposals for 500-MW Pumped Storage Project

LCG, July 21, 2017--The San Diego County Water Authority Tuesday issued a Request for Proposals (RFP) for a potential joint energy storage project with the City of San Diego that would expand use of existing hydroelectric infrastructure at San Vicente Reservoir. The project could potentially dampen water rate increases and provide greater opportunities for renewable energy development in the area.

The pumped-storage, hydroelectric project would provide up to 500 MW of utility-scaled energy storage capacity to (i) complement the growth of solar and wind farms that intermittently generate electricity within the day and over the year, and (ii) improve Southern California's electric grid stability. The associated energy storage capacity of the project would provide five to eight hours of energy storage. By enabling greater development of intermittent renewable electric generating capacity, the pumped-storage project would support California's Renewable Portfolio Standard (RPS) and the requirement for investor owned utilities (IOUs) to procure 50 percent of their energy from renewable energy sources by 2030.

The physical project would include an interconnection and pumping system between the existing San Vicente Reservoir (which is owned by the City of San Diego) near Lakeside and a new, smaller reservoir located uphill. The system would be used during off-peak energy-use periods when electricity prices are low to pump water uphill to the new upper reservoir, where water would be stored. The water would then be released to the lower reservoir by gravity to generate power when energy demand and electricity prices are higher. As planned, power generated at the San Vicente facility could be delivered to the grid via new electric transmission lines parallel to the Sunrise Power Link, and the new lines would connect to an existing Sycamore Substation owned by SDG&E approximately five miles away.

The chair of the Water Authority's Board of Directors stated, "This potential project is an exciting and innovative opportunity to optimize our water facilities to benefit our ratepayers while helping the region as a whole meet its energy needs. The competitive bidding process will help ensure this potential project delivers maximum value."

The RFP calls for interested parties to provide details of their full-service teams qualified to perform all activities to deliver an operational project. Proposals are due to the Water Authority by September 12, 2017. The Water Authority expects to then evaluate proposals and seek approval from the Board to begin negotiations with a potential full-service team by the end of this year.

The Water Authority currently operates an energy storage facility at Lake Hodges, which in 2011 began its operations of pumping water to Olivenhain Reservoir, where there is an electric generating capacity of 40 MW. The agency's San Vicente Dam Raise Project - completed in 2014 through a partnership with the City of San Diego - provided additional opportunity for energy storage because it created approximately 105,000 acre-feet of new regional carryover storage water supplies and 52,000 acre-feet of new emergency storage capacity, increasing the hydroelectric energy potential at the reservoir site. The Water Authority owns the additional storage capacity created by the dam raise and completed filling its carryover storage capacity in summer 2016.
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