Only the first half of developer Invenergy's 200 MW Forward Energy Center is under construction in south-eastern Wisconsin's Dodge and Fond du Lac counties following a favourable September ruling from the state's public service commission. The company cannot acquire turbines to build the project all at once. "We don't have 200 MW of turbines because of the turbine market," Smith says. "So we're releasing the project in phases and the first phase is 99 MW." That is expected online at the beginning of next year's second quarter. "We'll review in the future whether it makes sense to build out the rest of the facility. We're not able to build out to full capacity on all of our projects because we have more projects than turbines." Invenergy has 700 MW of GE turbines lined up for this year, 600 MW for next year and another 600 MW for 2009. "We've got more than our fair share," Smith says. Invenergy is looking at other suppliers too. "But we haven't pulled the trigger on turbines from anyone else yet." Forward Energy Centre faced a last minute permitting problem because of its proximity to the 32,000 acre Horicon Marsh, requiring a 3.2 kilometre setback for the nearest wind turbines. The marsh is home to more than 260 kinds of birds and renown for migrant flocks of Canadian geese. Placement of three turbines had been questioned by a local opposition group, which contended the turbine blades would extend into the setback. "The setback was to the base of the turbines and the Public Service Commission upheld that," says Invenergy's Kevin Smith. "We're beginning construction and the turbines have started showing up."
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