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California Looks for Cleaner Power; Utah Suppliers Seek Other Customers

California Looks for Cleaner Power; Utah Suppliers Seek Other Customers


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SALT LAKE CITY (AP) -- California is looking for cleaner sources of power than the coal-fired power plants in Utah, leaving those suppliers to find other markets.

California's Public Utilities Commission recently announced plans to impose new standards for carbon dioxide greenhouse gas emissions for investor-owned utilities in California, which purchases about 20 percent of its power from plants in other states, including Utah.

Reed Searle, general manager of the Intermountain Power Agency plant in Delta, said the California policy could affect future power development because "no coal-fired plant can meet the terms and conditions from an economic standpoint."

Last year, the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power withdrew its participation in IPP's 900 megawatt expansion. Then-Mayor James Hahn decided instead to invest the city's $400 million to develop renewable energy resources.

Searle said that California owns 75 percent of the 1,800 megawatts IPP's first two units now generate.

Intermountain Power is proceeding with plans to build a third unit because 100 percent of the rights to its 900 megawatts have been sold to municipal power agencies and PacifiCorp.

James Kennon of Sevier County Citizens for Clean Air & Water said his group is watching to see how the California decision affects construction of a coal-fired power plant near Sigurd.

Nevco, a Nevada corporation with headquarters in Bountiful and the parent of Sevier Power, plans to sell power from the plant on the open market. The $350 million plant would burn about 940,000 tons of coal per year. Kennon has said that thousands of county residents oppose the plant because its emissions would harm public health.

Kennon contends the plant was likely to sell all of its power to California.

However, Nevco spokesman Bruce Taylor said California is not the only potential buyer, and Utah is growing so fast that all of the power could be sold within the Beehive State.

(Copyright 2005 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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