By January, FPL Energy's Stateline Energy Center will be the largest wind project in the world at 300 MW -- and by the time the federal production tax credit expires at the end of that year, the project may grow by nearly 50% to 436.8 MW. Last month, the developer began raising 55 new Vestas V47 660 kW turbines at the site. The turbines replace those in the original 300 MW plan that were not installed due to the presence of the rare Washington ground squirrel in Oregon (Windpower Monthly, August 2001). FPL's Anne Walsh says the company has since worked out a plan with Oregon authorities to build around squirrel colonies. The new turbines are on farmland nestled between the project's existing 399 turbines, which have a combined capacity of 263 MW. The additions will push the size of the plant ahead of American Electric Power's 278.2 MW King Mountain facility in east Texas, currently the largest wind plant in the world. Stateline, on the eastern Washington and Oregon border, could get even bigger before 2003 is over if FPL can line up final approvals, transmission and power sales contracts in time. It has applied to Oregon's Energy Facility Siting Council to permit 177 more Vestas turbines, for a total of 116.8 MW. Walsh says it has a permit to expand the Washington side by 20 MW.
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