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Now turning at Foote Creek

Just over a year after ground was broken for the Wyoming Wind Energy Project, testing has started of the 69, 600 kW turbines manufactured by Mitsubishi Heavy Industries of Japan. The $60 million project has been developed by California company SeaWest together with Tomen of Japan and is expected to be on-line by the beginning of 1999.

The owners are two Oregon utilities, PacifiCorp of Portland and the Eugene Water and Electric Board, which will buy power from the project along with the Bonneville Power Administration, a federal electricity marketing agency. The site is Foote Creek Rim between Laramie and Rawlins.

PacifiCorp says it chose turbines with tubular towers rather than lattice bases to protect birds that might otherwise have perched on the supports. The company also moved the project away from the rimrocks edge to avoid a bird flight corridor.

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