Sacramento Municipal Utility District Wins DOE Wind Power Pioneer Award

October 30, 2007

The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) today announced that Sacramento (CA) Municipal Utility District (SMUD) is receiving the 2007 Wind Power Pioneer Award. The municipal utility was cited for leadership, demonstrated success, innovation, and long history with wind power technologies.

SMUD was one of 14 public power utilities from across the United States that were nominated for the award this year. The DOE Wind Powering America program is presenting the award at the American Public Power Association’s 2007 Customer Connections Conference in Seattle, WA, on October 30. The City of Palo Alto, CA, an award finalist, will also be recognized at that time.

SMUD has developed wind power since 1993 when the municipal utility launched the 5-MW Solano wind project. Gathering data from the first turbines, SMUD replaced older units and added more powerful ones, like the Vestas V-90 3-MW model, as they became available. The project now generates 39 MW, with an additional 63 MW planned for 2008, putting SMUD on track to achieve its ambitious goal of a 20% renewable energy portfolio by 2011.

To protect its investment in state-of-the-art turbines, SMUD worked with Vestas to develop the first 5-year, full-service operation and maintenance agreement in the United States, guaranteed by the manufacturer. To further mitigate the risk, SMUD split the Phase 2 project development contract, installing 24 MW in 2006 and scheduling 63 MW for 2008.

The American Public Power Association is the national service organization representing the nation’s more than 2,000 community- and state-owned electric utilities. It cosponsors the Wind Pioneer Awards program.

Previous winners have included municipal utilities in Hull, MA; Waverly, IA; and Fort Collins, CO.

Wind Powering America is a program of the U.S. Department of Energy Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE). The program is committed to dramatically increasing the use of wind energy in the United States.  EERE through its Wind Powering America effort and other programs will help the nation achieve targeted regional economic development, enhanced power generation options, improved environmental conditions, increased domestic energy supply and national security. For more information, visit