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Enron sells wind farms

Enron Wind's sale of its 104 MW Lake Benton wind plant to FPL (above) was because the growth of parent Enron Corp has moved it beyond the tax category in which the company can use wind's Production Tax Credit (PTC). About 30% of the project's revenues have come from the PTC, according to Enron Wind's Bob Gates. "We are no longer an efficient user of production tax credits and it's better to sell to someone who can use those credits," Gates says. At least in the short term, the situation also applies to the rest of Enron Wind's holdings in the US. "Enron has more credits than it can use and other projects might sell because of this," he adds. Since 1999, Enron has shared ownership of its 107 MW Lake Benton I facility with General Electric, which can use the tax credits. Enron Wind also owns shares in the 193 MW Storm Lake wind farms in Iowa, as well as a number of smaller plant. Lake Benton's 25 year power purchase contract with Northern States Power is being transferred with the sale of the wind farm, and operations will be transferred gradually.

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