September 15, 2000
Contact: Patrick Hurston 301-280-6802
EDITORS: Please do not use "Pacific Gas and Electric" or "PG&E" when referring to PG&E Corporation or its National Energy Group. The PG&E National Energy Group is not the same company as Pacific Gas and Electric Company, the utility, and is not regulated by the California Public Utilities Commission. Customers of Pacific Gas and Electric Company do not have to buy products or services from the National Energy Group in order to continue to receive quality regulated services from Pacific Gas and Electric Company.


Bethesda, Md. New York State's first merchant wind farm takes another step toward commercial operation today. PG&E Corporation's (NYSE: PCG) National Energy Group will mark the occasion at the 11.5-megawatt Madison Windpower Project in Madison County, New York with a ribbon-cutting ceremony today and a community open house tomorrow.

"Madison Windpower's commercial operation is a milestone for us," said PG&E National Energy Group President and Chief Operating Officer Chris Iribe. "Aside from offering critical additional capacity to the New York State power market, we're pioneering a new approach to linking customers to new, renewable energy facilities."

The seven-turbine facility, the first of its kind east of the Mississippi River, will sell electricity into the Northeast power grid through the New York State Electric & Gas Transmission System and the New York Independent System Operator (ISO).

The company will also offer Pure Windsm certificates to interested customers. Pure Windsm certificates correspond to the environmental attributes associated with equivalent amounts of wind-generated electricity delivered to the New York power pool. Because wind-generated electricity has no air emissions, the avoided emissions may be compared to the pollution emitted by the average of all New York State power generation facilities. On this basis, total electricity output for the Madison Windpower facility in an average year will avoid 12,000 tons of carbon dioxide (CO2), 65 tons of sulfur dioxide (SO2), and 19 tons of nitrogen oxide (NOx).

Pure Windsm certificates will also be available to consumers through a web-based sales site at, currently under development.

"Wind power is a commercially available, economically viable and completely renewable energy source," said Iribe. "This project puts Madison on the map as an innovative leader in the development of renewable energy; and by supporting this project, New York has jumped to the forefront in demonstrating its commitment to improved air quality," he added.

To further the process of bringing renewable power to New York State, the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA) awarded the Madison Windpower Project a research and development contract. "As NYSERDA celebrates its 25th anniversary this week, how fitting it is for us to be here today celebrating the opening of the largest wind power plant in the Northeast," said Parker D. Mathusa, a member of NYSERDA's Board of Directors. "NYSERDA's mission over those years has been to use innovation and technology to help solve the State's energy and environmental problems, which is exactly what we are doing here today as we bring clean power to the market place."

The Madison project joins one of the nation's fast-growing power generation sectors. According to the American Wind Energy Association (AWEA), capacity from windpower plants has nearly doubled in the last 10 years. Currently, installed windpower facilities supply nearly 2,650 megawatts of capacity to U.S. markets.

With wind speeds between eight and twenty miles per hour, Madison will supply enough emission-free electricity to power approximately 10,000 homes.

PG&E Corporation with 1999 revenues of nearly $21 billion and operations in 21 states, markets energy services and products throughout North America through its National Energy Group. The Corporation has ownership and management interests in 30 operating electric power generating plants in 10 states, providing it with a generation portfolio of more than 7,000 megawatts and more than 10,000 megawatts in new power plant development and construction currently underway. It also has one of the largest energy trading and risk management programs in North America.