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Desert Community Welcomes its Newest Wind Energy Neighbor

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May 30, 2008

PALM SPRINGS, Calif., May 30, 2008 Congresswoman Mary Bono Mack, Riverside County Supervisor Marion Ashley, Palm Springs Mayor Steve Pougnet and other elected officials, energy leaders, students and community partners joined together to celebrate today’s opening of IBERDROLA RENEWABLES’ (formerly PPM Energy) Dillon Wind Power Project.

The Dillon Wind Power Project consists of 45 wind turbines producing 45 megawatts of clean, green, renewable energy that will provide enough power for approximately 13,500 homes. The project is located in an ideal spot, in the wind-rich San Gorgonio Pass area of the Coachella Valley in North Palm Springs. This region helps support California's role as a national leader in looking to renewable resources as a viable energy source.

“The 45 wind turbines on site produce more energy and are more reliable than earlier turbines, generate zero emissions, and make very little noise,” said Anders Glader of IBERDROLA RENEWABLES, formerly known as PPM Energy. "Iberdrola Renewables is proud to provide power to Southern California Edison and to be a part of the Palm Springs community. We value the partnerships we have developed to raise awareness and support for wind energy and to get the Dillon project constructed, interconnected, and operational.”

“Southern California Edison is proud to lead the nation with its renewable energy portfolio,” said Stuart Hemphill, Southern California Edison vice president, Renewable and Alternative Power. “Renewable contracts such as the one with IBERDROLA RENEWABLES can help protect our customers against volatile prices of fossil fuel sources and help to combat climate change.”

Wind energy provides a local solution to our local energy needs, but also contributes to its development as a major renewable power source, nationally. Congresswoman Mary Bono Mack remarked, “Wind power is going to have an increasingly important role in our nation’s diversified energy future. As energy costs soar throughout the country, we need renewable energy supply to meet America’s needs for affordable, reliable energy. Wind is American energy we can produce along with other renewable and alternative energies. This new project by IBERDROLA RENEWABLES takes a positive approach by engaging our local community as the project was proposed. The result is new technology that provides a clean energy compliment for residents of the Coachella Valley and region.”

Supervisor Marion Ashley stated, “Projects like the Dillon facility will help California meet its goal to generate at least 20 percent of the state’s energy from renewable sources. Importantly, the Dillon Wind Power Project also brings numerous local benefits, and over its life will provide Riverside County with more than $12 million in property tax revenues which will help fund vital county services for our residents. In addition, this project is a job generator and helps stimulate our local economy. For these reasons and more, the Dillon project is one that makes sense.”

The Dillon projects employed approximately 120 workers at the peak of construction; the company plans to have five to 10 full-time operations employees.

“Our city and region are known for the wind energy opportunities it offers as evidenced by the more than 2,700 wind turbines currently located in the area,” said Mayor Steve Pougnet. “The Dillon project demonstrates IBERDROLA RENEWABLES’ unique commitment to engaging our community in the process. Through their participation in local community events, partnerships with public schools and hosting a public open house that provided many long-time residents with their first look inside a turbine, we now better understand the contribution wind energy makes to improving our environment.”

With the completion of construction, the Dillon Wind Power Project impacts less than 2 percent of the 1, 500 acres it occupies, preserving much of the natural desert habitat. IBERDROLA RENEWABLES has also strived to minimize environmental impacts by setting new industry standards in the study of local wildlife upon the initiation of operations.

Carl Zichella, Regional Staff Director with the Sierra Club stated, “This project is part of a national effort that is transforming our economy from a fossil-fueled system to a renewably powered one. Nothing like this has happened since the rise of oil more than a hundred years ago. The contribution of this project combined with scores of others will be crucial to that shift. We need more of these projects – carefully sited, developed and operated – if we are going to meet the challenge of global warming and climate change.”

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Contacts:
Art Sasse, Director, Communications & Brand, Iberdrola Renewables, 503-796-7740
Paul Copleman, Media Relations, Iberdrola Renewables, 207-641-2805
Vanessa McGrady, Southern California Edison 626/302-2255 (24-Hour Media Line)