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Big First Quarter Gains in New Wind Turbine Capacity in U.S.

LCG, May 4, 2017--The American Wind Energy Association (AWEA) released on Tuesday its new U.S. Wind Industry First Quarter 2017 Market Report. AWEA's evaluation concludes that a total of 908 utility-scale turbines were installed in the first quarter of 2017, adding 2,000 MW of electric generating capacity. According to AWEA, the installations represent the wind industry's strongest start in eight years. AWEA's CEO stated, "We switched on more megawatts in the first quarter than in the first three quarters of last year combined."

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

LCG, May 3, 2017--The San Diego County Water Authority Board of Directors on April 27 authorized the Water Authority, together with the City of San Diego, to pursue proposals to build an energy storage facility that utilizes the existing San Vicente Reservoir. The Water Authority expects to advertise the Request for Proposals (RFPs) by this summer and to evaluate received proposals by the end of this year.

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Industry News

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

LCG, May 3, 2017--The San Diego County Water Authority Board of Directors on April 27 authorized the Water Authority, together with the City of San Diego, to pursue proposals to build an energy storage facility that utilizes the existing San Vicente Reservoir. The Water Authority expects to advertise the Request for Proposals (RFPs) by this summer and to evaluate received proposals by the end of this year.

The pumped-storage, hydroelectric project would provide up to 500 MW of utility-scaled energy storage capacity to complement the growth of solar and wind farms that intermittently generate electricity within the day and over the year, and to 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 project could also lessen upward pressure on water rates by providing a new source of revenue.

The physical project would include an interconnection and pumping system between the existing San Vicente Reservoir 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.

In January, the Water Authority and the City issued a request for Letters of Interest to measure outside interest in participating in the potential San Vicente Energy Storage Facility, and multiple responses were received. The chair of the Water Authority's Board of Directors stated, "We wanted to find out if there really is a broad desire among potential stakeholders to see a project like this in our region, and now we know there is. We're now going to gather more details about how it could come together for the benefit of ratepayers."
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