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Seeking to connect 400 MW of wind at site near Hoover Dam in Arizona

Busy again in Arizona, Canada's Western Wind Energy Corp has approached the Western Area Power Administration (WAPA) for approval to interconnect and deliver 400 MW of wind power at a site in Arizona about 30 miles from Hoover Dam. Western Wind, based in Coquitlam, British Columbia, wants to send 200 MW from the project south and 200 MW north along existing transmission lines that serve the 70-year-old dam. Earlier this year, the company announced it will build the 15 MW Eastern Arizona Wind Energy Center in Arizona and sell the output to Arizona Public Service. The energy produced by this latest project will likely go to California, says the developer's Mike Boyd. In addition, Western Wind is seeking to work with WAPA to develop a power product similar to that offered by the Bonneville Power Administration (Windpower Monthly, February 2004), which uses the dam's 2000 MW of capacity to firm the variable wind resource. That, Boyd says, will increase the opportunity for local irrigation and public utility districts to use wind resources. But Western primarily has its eyes on the lucrative California renewables market, which is calling for 20% of energy sales to come from renewables. The California Energy Commission has recently ruled that the green power does not have to come from the state, but can come from anywhere within the Western Electricity Coordinating Council (WECC), which includes eleven US states, two Canadian provinces and a small slice of northern Mexico. Western Wind would like to complete the project in 2006.

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