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Aggregating wind power from rural turbines in US Northwest

A Northwest wind power co-operative is working with the National Renewable Energy Laboratory to fund wind turbines on farms and rural property and aggregate the green attributes of those turbines for sale to the Bonneville Environmental Fund (BEF). "Our Wind Co-op," an initiative led by The NW Co-operative Development Center and NW Sustainable Energy for Economic Development (NWSEED), plans to install at least ten small scale turbines over the next 18 months. The co-op expects the 10 kW American Bergey turbine, which will be installed at most sites, to generate about 1200-1600 kWh a month, enough energy to offset a large portion of the electricity needs of most farms and ranches. More than 50 landowners, investors, installers and utilities have shown an interest in the proposal. NWSEED says it wants to demonstrate that "distributed, locally owned wind turbines producing power to meet local loads are feasible and cost effective throughout the Northwest." BEF, which recently initiated a similar co-operative program for solar facilities, says it would like to see the wind program grow to one megawatt by 2005.

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