Sempra Energy Resources, the wholesale power-generation subsidiary of Sempra Energy, Friday signed a 10-year agreement potentially worth $7 billion with the California Department of Water Resources (CDWR) to supply up to 1,900 MW of electricity to the state.

Sempra Energy Resources will begin providing 250 MW of summer capacity on June 1, 2001. By the end of the 10-year agreement, which extends to 2011, the company will supply the CDWR with up to 1,900 MW during peak-usage periods.

“We are making a substantial commitment to invest in improving the power supply infrastructure in California and the Western United States,” said Donald E. Felsinger, group president of Sempra Energy Global Enterprises, the umbrella for Sempra Energy’s growth businesses, including Sempra Energy Resources. “Within the next three years, we expect to have brought online more than 3,000 megawatts of new, efficient generation in the region”

The majority of the power under the contract will come from the company’s new state-of-the-art fleet of combined-cycle, natural gas-fired generating facilities that are either currently operating or scheduled for completion within the next two years. These power plants are cleaner and up to 45% more efficient than the older plants operating in the region.

Sempra Energy Resources currently owns half of the 480 MW El Dorado Energy power plant outside of Las Vegas, which began operations in May 2000, and is developing in joint or solo ventures several other new generating facilities totaling about 3,000 MW, including plants outside of Phoenix, Bakersfield, CA, and Mexicali, Baja California, Mexico. All three of these power plants are scheduled to be online by the summer of 2003, with the Bakersfield facility expected to be in simple-cycle operation by the summer of 2002.

Additionally, Sempra Energy Resources is pursuing a 600 MW expansion of the El Dorado generating facility, which is now in the final permitting stages, and is in the early phase of permitting a 550 MW power plant in Escondido, CA, outside San Diego. Sempra Energy Resources is supporting Sempra Energy’s retail energy marketing and wholesale trading operations by developing 5,000-10,000 MW of generation within the next decade in the United States and northern Mexico.

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