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Construction start in Minnesota -- GE supplies 51 MW

A wind power project that has been on the books since spring 2000 will soon enter the construction stage. GE Wind Energy says it will supply 34, 1.5 MW turbines for the 51 MW Moraine Wind Power Project that PacifiCorp Power Marketing (PPM), a division of British-owned Scottish Power, is developing near Chandler along Buffalo Ridge in southwest Minnesota.

The project originated part of a successful bid by Northern Alternative Energy (NAE), part of the Navitas family of companies, in response to an all-source tender issued by Northern States Power (now Xcel Energy) in April 2000. In winning the bid, the project competed head-to-head with conventional power sources. Navitas and PPM signed a development and marketing service agreement to co-develop wind and other generation in the Midwest in April 2002 (Windpower Monthly, June 2002), but Navitas is no longer a party in the project.

Commercial operation is expected in the fall of 2003. PPM currently buys the output of the 263 MW Stateline project in the Northwest, which is expanding to 300 MW, and says it plans to develop up to 2000 MW of wind in the next five to seven years, particularly in the Midwest and California, where both the wind resource and public policy are favourable, according to PPM.

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