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Arizona-based utility Salt River Project (SRP) has signed an agreement with CalEnergy LLC for the purchase of 50 MW of geothermal energy from a number of plants located in the Imperial Valley of Southern California. CalEnergy and its affiliates, subsidiaries of MidAmerican Energy Holdings Co. and TransAlta Corp., own and operate the facilities.

SRP's purchase will begin with 18 MW in 2016 and grow to the full 50 MW in 2019. The long-term agreement will continue until 2039.

According to SRP, geothermal power plants are highly reliable because they produce energy continuously, irrespective of the time of the day or weather conditions. The utility also has agreements to purchase geothermal energy from the Hudson Ranch facility in Southern California, which began operating in 2012, and the Cove Fort plant, which is currently under construction in Utah.

Under SRP's Sustainable Portfolio goals, the utility must meet 20% of its retail electricity requirements through sustainable resources by 2020. SRP says it is currently providing more than 10% of retail energy needs with sustainable resources such as solar, wind, landfill gas, geothermal, biomass, hydro and energy-efficiency measures.



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