California Group Inks Deal for Power from Massive New Mexico Wind Farm

A California company that specializes in providing renewable energy to electricity customers has signed its largest procurement contract. Peninsula Clean Energy (PCE) on September 28 said it will receive 220 MW of wind power from Pattern Energy’s SunZia Wind installation in New Mexico, a 3.5-GW project that at present would be the largest wind onshore wind farm in the Western Hemisphere.

Peninsula on Thursday said it expects to begin receiving electricity from SunZia in 2026. The company, a Community Choice Aggregation agency, said it has a 15-year contract to offtake power. The 220 MW would represent about 13% of Peninsula’s current total electricity demand.

“SunZia Wind supercharges our plan to deliver 24/7 affordable renewable power in the near future,” said Shawn Marshall, Peninsula Clean Energy’s CEO. “By providing reliable power whether or not the sun is shining, this contract is a gamechanger toward meeting our hourly renewable power matching goal than any other long-term power contract we have signed to date.”

Geographic, Seasonal Diversity

The contract is Peninsula’s first to procure renewable energy from outside California. The company said SunZia will provide both geographic and seasonal diversity to the agency’s electricity supply, as it continues toward a goal of providing customers with renewable energy 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Officials noted that the deal will support providing higher wind generation during the winter months, when solar energy generated in California is at its lowest point during the year.

“This project represents a series of firsts for Peninsula Clean Energy and the larger utility sector,” said Rick DeGolia, council member for the town of Atherton, California, and member and chair of Peninsula Clean Energy’s board of directors. “As the agency’s largest wind contract, it will continue to advance PCE as an industry leader in procuring reliable renewable power that is responsive to our load shape and reliability requirements.”

“SunZia is providing access to some of the best wind in the world, which has a powerful generation profile with an evening peak to complement daytime solar,” said Hunter Armistead, CEO of Pattern Energy. “The project is being built to help supply much needed renewable power to western markets and we are excited to be able to do just that by delivering 220 MW of clean, reliable power to Peninsula Clean Energy.”

The contract announced Thursday also includes prevailing wage requirements, including annual third-party auditing to ensure compliance with Peninsula Clean Energy’s labor policies.

Pattern Energy earlier this year contracted with Hitachi Energy and Quanta Services to build a 550-mile, 525 kV high-voltage direct current transmission line that will serve the SunZia project, carrying electricity from the wind farm across the southwestern U.S.

Darrell Proctor is a senior associate editor for POWER (@POWERmagazine).

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