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Alternative Energy Firm to Open O.C. Office

February 22, 2001|Bloomberg News

A Chatsworth maker of power generators said Wednesday it has formed an alternative energy unit with offices in Orange County and four other areas in the state.

Capstone Turbine Corp. said in a press release that it formed Capstone California to take advantage of demand spurred by the state's energy crisis. The company makes 30- and 60-kilowatt natural-gas turbines that produce enough electricity to power a convenience store or typical office building.

Capstone did not specify where in Orange County it would open an office. The company said it also plans to open offices in Sacramento, San Diego, San Jose and the Bay Area.

The company expects to make 2,000 to 4,000 generators this year, more than two to five times last year's production, company spokesman Keith Field said. A shortage of electronic components for the 60-kilowatt model has limited production, he said.

Rising demand and lower-than-normal hydroelectric supplies have made electricity scarce in recent months, prompting California businesses to seek more reliable sources of power. The state authorized power blackouts twice in January, and the power grid operator remains on alert.

Gov. Gray Davis wants to build an additional 5,000 megawatts of generating capacity to meet demand this summer and avoid the possibility of more rolling blackouts.

The state's energy crisis has raised expectations that alternative power technologies may win broader acceptance.

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