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Merchant wind plant dedication

The first large merchant wind plant in America, 16.5 MW of Enron Wind Z-750 turbines near Palm Springs, was dedicated on December 8. The 22 turbine wind farm, Green Power I Wind, was built solely to supply California's emerging green electricity market. It has been providing power since June 1999. A smaller merchant wind plant, consisting of two wind turbines, has previously been installed for GreenMountain.com, the green retailer, while larger merchant plants are planned in Pennsylvania and New York State.

"I am pleased to see that Californians who care about the environment are now able to choose clean, renewable wind power as an alternative to other methods of power generation that release harmful pollutants into our atmosphere," said US Congresswoman Mary Bono, who represents the area. "The growing popularity of renewable energy will help us balance our world's energy mix and benefit our planet." Bono, an advocate of wind power, has represented the district since her husband Congressman Sonny Bono -- the former singer and partner of Cher -- was killed in an accident.

"We're pleased to support the construction of wind power projects such as Green Power I, added Michael Crooke of Patagonia Inc, the outdoor clothing company that is Enron's best known green customer. "Within the environmental costs of non-renewable energy sources becoming less acceptable every year, we see this as a good investment, both for our company and the earth."

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