Zond Development Corp, an Enron subsidiary, has been chosen to build all 100 MW of the third phase of Northern States Power's (NSP) wind project by June 1999 on Buffalo Ridge in Minnesota, the utility announced on July 29. Construction is to start next summer in southwestern Minnesota, near the town of Ruthton. The choice of Zond -- from a short-list including EcoWest of San Diego, California, Dominion World Power of Newport Beach, California and Northern Alternative Energy (NAE) of Minneapolis, Minnesota -- raises the question of when the Z-750 kW Series turbine will be unveiled. It is now to be used in a total of some 300 MW of wind plants in the Midwest, in this project, in the 107 MW Phase II of NSP's wind development, and also in a 112.5 MW contract that Zond signed earlier this year with MidAmerican Energy Co, a major utility. The bids for NSP's phase three were evaluated by Reed Consulting Group of Massachusetts. The shortlist had incorporated much of the industry's expertise in Europe and North America. NAE bid with Tacke 600 kW 1.5 MW units; EcoWest, a partnership between developer SeaWest of San Diego, the Danish manufacturer Micon, and a Japanese finance company, Nichimen, bid with the Micon 750 turbine; and Dominion World Power, a joint venture between New World Power Corp and its owner, Dominion Bridge Corp, bid with the Vestas V-66, a 1.6 MW machine. NSP's phase two, also 100 MW and also to be developed by Zond, is to be operating by June, 1998. The first phase, 25 MW, was completed by Kenetech Windpower in 1994. The Phase III announcement follows news that NSP has received permission from state regulators to build the final two phases of its total of 425 MW in wind capacity by 2002 outside Minnesota if it is cheaper.
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