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United States

PTC brings first signs of revival to US market

UNITED STATES: There are signs that last month's extension of the production tax credit (PTC) is providing a much-needed boost to the US wind sector following new project announcements and request for proposals (RFP).

Tri-State Generation and Transmission Association, a Colorado-based wholesale electricity supplier owned by 44 electric cooperatives in four US states, is to issue an RFP for up to 400,000MWh of renewable energy a year. Tri-State wants the power for customers in Colorado and New Mexico.

Tri-State business development manager Susan Hunter said: "Given the recently extended federal production tax credit and sustained competitive pricing in the renewable energy sector, we felt this was a good time to explore adding an additional project or projects to Tri-State's renewable resource portfolio."

Tendered projects must begin construction by end-2013 to qualify for the PTC and be in service before the end of 2014. The amount of electricity Tri-State is seeking is equivalent to a 100MW wind farm with a capacity factor of 45%.

NextEra progress in Nebraska

NextEra Energy Resources is seeking permission to build the 75MW Steele Flats wind farm in Jefferson and Gage counties in Nebraska. NextEra acquired the development rights from Infinity Wind Power in 2012 and will own and operate the project.

The Nebraska Public Power District (NPPD) board has authorised its management to sign a 20-year PPA with the project, said a NPPD spokesman. NextEra is eyeing to start and complete the construction within 2013.

BP to relaunch Ohio project

Oil giant BP has asked the local authority of Van Wert County, Ohio, to consider its proposal for building the 200MW Long Prairie wind farm.

BP first made the proposal public as early as March 2011. The proposed 200MW project will be potentially located in several optioned hectares in Liberty, Willshire, and York townships of Van Wert County.

BP expects to launch official the permission process later this year to seek approval by the Ohio Power Siting Board. If approved, construction may start towards the year of 2013 or beginning of 2014.

Akuo seeks zoning permission

Akuo Energy's subsidiary in the United States has started with its US partner Stewardship Energy to seek zoning permission for the proposed 100MW Dogtown wind project in Ford County, Illinois.

The proposed Dogtown project would have up to 49 wind turbines on 2,480 hectares of farmland. The proposal indicates developers' consideration to using 1.7 to 2.7MW turbine models pending results from power purchase deal negotiations.

Supply deals

In terms of supplier deals, tower manufacturer Broadwind Energy has won a $27 million deal from an unnamed US manufacturer for delivery this year.

Speaking about the deal, Broadwind CEO Peter Duprey said: "It is nice to see orders begin to flow as a result of the extension of the production tax credit (PTC). With the PTC renewal modified to include projects that commence construction by the end of the year, we expect better order visibility. We continue to be optimistic about the tower business."

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