Northern California Power Agency (NCPA) today announced the signing of a Power Purchase Agreement (PPA) with Western GeoPower, Inc. for the supply of approximately 265,000 MWh per year of clean, renewable, baseload electricity at a levelized price of $98 per MWh for 20 years. The power will come from Western GeoPower's 35 MWe Unit 1 geothermal power plant which is scheduled to come on line in early 2010 at The Geysers Geothermal Field in Northern California. This agreement increases the amount of geothermal power used by NCPA and its customers in Northern California by approximately 30%, and will emit approximately 4 billion less pounds of CO2 compared to even the cleanest natural gas-fired plant over the life of the contract. The PPA is not subject to Regulatory approval.
“Our commitment to explore and develop innovative and effective “green power” energy programs is reflected in this agreement,” said Jim Pope, general Manager of NCPA. “By securing the geothermal power from the Western GeoPower Unit 1, our member communities in Northern and Central California will continue to benefit from what we consider to be the prime source of reliable and renewable energy compared to the cleanest natural gas-fired sources. The addition of this unit to our resources now expands our geothermal production from four to five plants at The Geysers.”
For more than 25 years, NCPA has been operating four geothermal power plants of 55 MWe (220 MWe total capacity) each at The Geysers, located approximately 6 miles (10 km) southeast of the Western GeoPower Unit 1 project site. NCPA also owns and operates the steam field on which the plants are situated, including 8 deep injection wells used to re-supply the geothermal reservoir with water to create additional steam.
“The execution of this PPA reflects the tremendous spirit of cooperation that has been created between Western GeoPower and NCPA and is a significant milestone in the development of our Unit 1 project,” said Kenneth MacLeod, President and Chief Executive Officer of Western GeoPower. “The PPA represents approximately $26 million per year in revenue to Western GeoPower and $520 million over the 20-year term of the contract.”
The Geysers geothermal field, located 75 miles north of San Francisco, California, is the largest producer of geothermal electricity in the world. Commercial geothermal power has been generated continuously at The Geysers field since 1960, the present generation level being about 900 MWe of clean, baseload electricity. Western GeoPower's Unit 1 project is situated in the south-western region of The Geysers field in Sonoma County.