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United States

Wind turbine installed at Victorville prison in California

One of the few wind projects under construction in the US this year is at a federal prison in Victorville, California. In a project that includes a large expanse of photovoltaic panels atop a carport and efficiency improvements to the prison's heating and air conditioning systems, NORESCO, an energy services company, is installing a Vestas 750 kW turbine on prison grounds that is due for completion this year or early in 2005. NORESCO says the wind turbine will produce up to 30% of the prison's peak electric demand and 10% of its annual electric consumption. As a public authority project, the prison turbine is not eligible for the federal production tax credit, but it will receive more than $2 million from local utility Pacific Gas & Electric, enough to cover the entire project's cost. Financing is through the federal Energy Saving Performance Contracting program and it will be the first utility scale wind turbine to be installed under California's Self-Generation Incentive Program. NORESCO has completed upwards of 2200 energy projects worth $1.5 billion in the past 20 years. This is its first project that includes a commercial scale wind turbine.

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