Alliant Energy to Install More Wind Farms in Iowa

LCG, April 19, 2018--Alliant Energy's Iowa utility subsidiary, Interstate Power and Light Company (IPL), received approval to increase its wind expansion program from the Iowa Utilities Board (IUB). Through this expansion, combined with existing wind farms and market purchases, the company expects wind to provide approximately one-third of its total electric generating capacity in Iowa by the end of 2020.

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Wyoming Commission Approves Settlement Agreement for PacifiCorp Wind Expansion

LCG, April 18, 2018--The The Wyoming Public Service Commission last Thursday approved a settlement agreement between PacifiCorp, the Wyoming Industrial Energy Consumers, the Wyoming Office of Consumer Advocate and the Interwest Energy Alliance on the new wind and transmission portions of PacifiCorp's Energy Vision 2020 proposal. The commission also approved the Certificates of Public Convenience and Necessity (CPCNs) that are needed for construction of the Wyoming-based wind and transmission projects. Pending approval from other state commissions, acquisition of rights of way, and receipt of permits, construction on the wind and transmission projects is expected to start in 2019.

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Industry News

Stirling Energy Systems Add Major Solar Project in California

LCG, September 8, 2005--Arizona-based Stirling Energy Systems (SES) announced yesterday that San Diego Gas and Electric Company (SDG&E) has contracted to purchase between 300 and 900 MW of solar energy from a large-scale, solar project to be located in Southern California's Imperial Valley.

The solar power plant will include 12,000 Stirling solar dishes distributed over three square miles. The dish technology tracks the sun and reflects the sun's energy onto the receiver of a Stirling engine, where the energy heats and expands hydrogen gas. The expanding gas drives a piston, crankshaft and drive shaft assembly (without igniting the gas), which in turn drives a generator.

SES has six dishes operating at the National Solar Thermal Test Facilities at Sandia National Laboratories in New Mexico. The dishes at the Sandia test facility can operate at nearly a 30 percent peak efficiency while delivering grid-ready alternating current.

SDG&E will purchase all of the output over the initial, 20-year term of the agreement. SES has options on two expansion phases that would increase the capacity up to 900 MW.

This is the second major project announced recently by SES. In August, SES announced the execution of a 20-year contract with Southern California Edison to purchase 500 to 850 MW of solar power. The project site is in the Mojave Desert near Victorville, California. The initial, 500-MW phase is planned to include a 20,000 dish array, with a construction period estimated to require four years. Both contracts are subject to approval by the California Public Utilities Commission.

The State of California's Renewables Portfolio Standard (RPS) Program requires each utility, such as SDG&E and Southern California Edison, to increase its procurement of eligible renewable generating resources by 1% of load per year to achieve a 20% renewables goal. The RPS Program was passed by the Legislature and is managed by California's Public Utilities Commission and Energy Commission.

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