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Texas projects boost state's RPS target

Two wind developers have announced projects in West Texas that will add nearly 200 MW to a state that already has 1105 MW of wind generation thanks to its renewables portfolio standard (RPS) legislation. Construction has begun on both the 37.5 MW Sweetwater 1 and the 160 MW Green Mountain Energy wind farms, which are timed for a December 31, 2003 completion to meet the deadline for wind's current federal production tax credit. The projects, the first to be built in the state since 2001, will help utilities meet the Texas RPS requirement of 2000 MW of renewables by 2009. Catamount Energy and Babcock & Brown are equity partners in the Sweetwater wind farm in Nolan County. They say that along with developer DKR Development LLC of Houston, they will expand the project to as much as 400 MW in the next few years. Sweetwater 1 will use GE Wind Energy 1.5 MW turbines and TXU Energy of Dallas will buy the output. The Green Mountain Energy Wind Farm near Brazos has been bought by Shell WindEnergy and Padoma Wind Power from Texas developers Cielo Wind Power and California's Orion Energy. Cielo affiliate Texas Wind Power will build the project, using Mitsubishi 1 MW turbines, while Shell WindEnergy will take over operations on completion. TXU Energy and Green Mountain Energy of Austin will buy the project's output.

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