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Iberdrola And PG&E Sign Wind Energy Deal

Pacific Gas and Electric Company signed a contract to buy and operate a wind-energy project that will produce enough electricity for about 100,000 California homes.

The San Francisco-based utility said Thursday it signed the deal with Portland-based Iberdrola Renewables, Inc., the U.S. arm of Spain's Iberdrola, S.A.

Iberdrola will develop and build the Manzana Wind Project for PG&E on 7,000 acres in eastern Kern County.

It would be PG&E's first wind-power plant, which the company estimates will cost just over $900 million.

PG&E, which provides electricity for most of northern and central California, says it plans a 25-cent rate increase for the average residential customer to help finance the project.

The plant still needs the approval of the California Public Utilities Commission.

Iberdrola has proposed building a wind project in southeastern San Diego County that would produce 200 megawatts of electricity. The Tule Wind Power Project would be built on federal Bureau of Land Management, Indian and state lands.

The company recently filed an application with the County of San Diego Planning Department for a Major Use Permit. Iberdrola expects the county to hold hearings on the permit application sometime next year.

-- The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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