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New development rings in the new year

The turn of the year brought sizable new wind plants online in Washington, Oklahoma and Iowa and saw plans accelerate on others waiting for construction. Puget Sound Energy's 229 MW Wild Horse wind project is now online in Kittitas County, Washington. Horizon Wind Energy built the turnkey project using Vestas 1.8 MW turbines for the utility and contracted RES Americas for some construction services. Across the country in Harper County, Oklahoma, the 120 MW Centennial wind project went online for Oklahoma Gas and Electric using GE 1.5 MW turbines. It was developed by Illinois-based Invenergy, which just broke ground on its first Texas wind project, the 130.5 MW Camp Springs plant in Scurry County, also using GE 1.5 MW units. Invenergy took over early development work that had been completed by Dallas-based Wind Tex Energy. Construction got the green light last month after financing was secured through a mix of equity commitments from JP Morgan, Northwestern Mutual, Prudential Capital, and Wells Fargo. In central Iowa, the big pot of money under mega-investor Warren Buffet's Berkshire Hathaway played a background role in completion of the 99 MW Victory wind project for Berkshire Hathaway subsidiary MidAmerican Energy. The Iowa project was fully operational just before the new year.

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