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Wisconsin projects total 204 MW

Minnesota's Navitas Energy and Illinois-based Midwest Wind Energy LLC have received the go-ahead from utility We Energies to build three Wisconsin wind projects in 2004 totalling 204 MW. The projects will bring the state's wind capacity to nearly five times its current 53 MW. We Energies released a solicitation in 2002 for as much as 200 MW of renewable energy, an action recommended by the newly formed Renewable Energy Collaborative. The collaborative and the solicitation were the outcome of an agreement between the utility and renewable energy advocates that resulted in a self-imposed renewables portfolio standard (RPS) for the utility of 5% by 2011 (Windpower Monthly, May 2003). In exchange, the environmental groups involved agreed not to oppose a We Energies plan to build about 2500 MW of new gas and coal generation. The 204 MW brings the utility to within 60% of its RPS goal. Navitas will build two projects -- Blue Sky Wind Farm and Green Field Wind Farm -- each 80 MW, and Midwest Energy will build the 54 MW Butler Ridge wind farm. Greg Jaunich of Navitas, which is 75% owned by Spain's Gamesa, says the Blue Sky and Green Field projects likely will use Gamesa's 1.8 MW turbines. Neither developer will reveal the exact location of the wind farms until they complete further negotiations with landowners. We Energies has more than one million retail customers in Wisconsin and parts of Michigan's Upper Peninsula.

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