FPL Energy LLC secured its position as America's largest wind developer with three major announcements last month: its selection by TXU Electric & Gas of Dallas for provision of a 160 MW wind plant in West Texas, one of the largest ever; its purchase of 200, 660 kW Vestas turbines from Denmark -- together with an option for another 600 Vestas units, also for installation in the US; and its purchase of Enron's 104 MW Lake Benton wind plant at Buffalo Ridge in Minnesota. The 160 MW for Texas means FPL will be buying more than its initial order of 200 Vestas units as the project is to consist of 242 Vestas 660 kW machines. Construction will start by the end of the year, says FPL's Carol Clawson. The project will supply 500 million kWh annually, enough for 29,000 households. Previously FPL has used NEG Micon turbines in Texas, at its Southwest Mesa project, in Culberson County. Commenting on the deal for 800 Vestas turbines, FPL president Lew Hay said: "It is important for FPL Energy to secure a reliable source of wind turbines for use in projects we are developing today and into the future." FPL, part of FPL Group with annual revenues of more than $6 billion, says it will install 500-1000 MW of wind in America by the end of 2001, primarily in the West, Midwest and Southwest. None of the opted-for Vestas turbines will be used to repower Lake Benton, say FPL officials. It consists of Enron's Zond turbines. FPL now operates 974 MW of wind farms in five states and owns 574 MW. Wind power represents some 15% of its portfolio. Most of the rest is natural gas.
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