A proposed wind farm in central Utah will supply power to Los Angeles under a 20-year agreement approved Thursday.
UPC Wind, a Massachusetts-based wind power company, said it signed the power-purchase agreement to supply the city of Los Angeles with renewable wind power from its Milford Wind Corridor project, which is planned seven miles north of Milford in Beaver County.
The deal, approved by Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa and the Los Angeles City Council, was made with the Southern California Public Power Authority, acting on behalf of the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power and the cities of Burbank and Pasadena.
“The approval of this power purchase agreement by the mayor and the L.A. City Council is a major milestone for our Utah-based Milford Wind Corridor project,” said Paul Gaynor, UPC Wind’s president and chief executive officer. “In addition to the clean wind energy that the project will produce for the city of Los Angeles, it will be a source of revenue and new jobs to the Utah region where it will be built.”
Under the pact, the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power will receive 185 megawatts from the first phase of the Milford Wind Corridor, with the cities of Burbank and Pasadena respectively getting 10 megawatts and 5 megawatts from the project. The company said the department’s 185-megawatt share represents enough power to serve about 39,000 homes and meets 1.9 percent of the city’s renewable energy goal of 20 percent by 2010.
The company said the wind-farm project will be one of the largest renewable energy facilities in Utah, providing significant property tax revenues and royalty payments to landowners. In addition, the project is estimated to bring in dozens of new jobs to both Millard and Beaver counties.
Krista Kisch, UPC Wind’s western regional vice president of business development, estimates the project will yield about 275 job during the construction phase, plus an undetermined number of permanent positions upon completion.
“We’ll begin construction sometime the middle of next year,” Kisch said. “We’re aiming to have the project built before the end of 2008.”
If all goes according to plan, by this time next year, the facility will begin generating power, and a 100 kilowatt second phase will be developed soon after that, she said.
As Utah seeks to ensure its energy future, the push for renewable energy production got a big boost from the state Legislature earlier this year when Utah lawmakers passed a bill giving renewable energy producers significant tax incentives in the form of tax credits.
The incentive offers commercial producers a credit of 0.35 cents per kilowatt hour produced over the first four years of a project’s life, in addition to a federal tax credit of 1.9 cents per kilowatt hour.
Officials estimate the state will hand out about $4.3 million in tax cuts over the next two years, with most of the cuts coming in 2009, when an anticipated boom in renewable energy systems goes online.
By Jasen Lee
21 December 2007
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