CVPS to Purchase Deerfield Wind Power from Iberdrola

Central Vermont Public Service (NYSE: CV) will purchase two-thirds of the output of Iberdrola Renewables’ planned Deerfield Wind Energy Project in Readsboro and Searsburg, Vt., under an agreement announced today.

"The wind farm project will add yet another clean, competitively priced energy source to CV’s power supply, while providing economic benefits from development of in-state generation," CVPS President Bob Young said. "This is an attractive addition to our portfolio, which we continue to build and diversify as planned and in compliance with state law mandating renewable power in our mix. Pricing for this project is very competitive with other wind proposals CV has reviewed, and equally important, the wind turbines project is permitted by the Vermont Public Service Board and headed toward timely construction."

CVPS will purchase 20 megawatts of the project’s planned 30-megawatt output for nine years. Deerfield Wind farm is proposed to be built on U.S. Forest Service land, near the existing Searsburg wind project, in Readsboro and Searsburg. To protect sensitive contract negotiations with other parties, the price has been disclosed to regulators under seal.

The project is designed to include 15 wind turbines, eight in Searsburg and seven in Readsboro, which will produce 30 megawatts of new capacity. The wind farm is expected to produce enough energy to power about 14,000 average Vermont households.

Deerfield Wind is being developed by Portland, Oregon-based Iberdrola Renewables. Iberdrola Renewables has become the second-largest wind operator in the United States, with installed capacity of over 3,800 megawatts — over 30 percent of the company’s global capacity — spread over 41 wind farms, including New Hampshire’s only commercial wind farm. Iberdrola Renewables is the U.S. division of Iberdrola Renovables, the world’s largest wind power company with more than 11,400 MW in installed capacity.

Deerfield Wind has received a Section 248 permit from the Vermont Public Service Board. The project continues to work towards the satisfaction of all outstanding permitting conditions and requirements. Construction is expected to begin in 2012.

"Iberdrola Renewables is pleased to welcome CVPS to our growing list of customers and we look forward to supplying them from what will be our first wind farm in Vermont," said Martin Mugica, executive vice president for Iberdrola Renewables. "Once permitted, this project will create substantial long-term economic benefits, and will produce homegrown energy to be used locally."

CVPS, which has among the cleanest power portfolios in the nation, has been expanding its power supply in anticipation of the end of existing contracts with Hydro-Quebec and Vermont Yankee. The company recently signed a new deal with Hydro-Quebec, starting in 2012, and announced several other renewable projects in the region.

Under Vermont law, the state’s energy supply must contain 20 percent new renewable power by 2017. With the purchases now in the pipeline, CV is about four-fifths of the way to this goal. Recently signed contracts include:

* 30.3 percent of the output from the 99-megawatt Granite Reliable Power wind project, to be built in Coos County, N.H., for 20 years starting April 1, 2012;
* The entire output of Ampersand Gilman Hydro, a 4.99-megawatt hydro unit in Gilman, Vt., for five years starting April 1, 2012;
* 15 megawatts of round-the-clock energy from J.P. Morgan Ventures Energy for calendar years 2013 through 2015.

CVPS also continues to expand its Cow Power generation; recently built a 50-kilowatt solar project on Route 7 in Rutland Town; improved a Passumpsic River hydro facility in St. Johnsbury; conducted a broad request for contract proposals contingent on Vermont Yankee’s relicensing; and announced plans to buy the Vermont Electric Power Division of Omya, including four large hydro-facilities on Otter Creek. CV plans to invest $12 million after closing to improve production from the Omya facilities.

"Through the state’s public outreach process and conversations with our customers, it is clear that Vermont policy makers and our customers want us to continue to expand our reliance on cost-effective renewable energy," Young said. "Along with Deerfield, these projects are among the most affordable renewable projects we have seen. While they tend to cost significantly more than conventional market supplies, they are much cheaper than alternatives with these characteristics."

Iberdrola Renewables, Inc. is an American company, incorporated in the U.S. and headquartered in Portland, Ore., with over 850 employees. It is part of the Iberdrola Renovables global group, the world’s leading provider of wind power with more than 11,400 MW of renewable energy in operation around the world, and more than 3,800 MW of that wind power located in the U.S.

CV is Vermont’s largest electric utility, serving approximately 159,000 customers statewide. CV’s non-regulated subsidiary, Catamount Resources Corporation, sells and rents electric water heaters through a subsidiary, SmartEnergy Water Heating Services.