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DOE awards $40 million

With the aim of cutting the cost of wind power to $0.025/kWh, the federal government has awarded each of two US manufacturers a $20 million grant. Secretary of Energy Federico Peña announced the awards June 20 while visiting the National Wind Technology Center in Colorado. Cost share agreements with The Wind Turbine Co (WTC) of Bellevue, Washington (started in 1990 by two former FloWind employees, Larry Miles and Ken Deering) and Zond Systems Inc, a subsidiary of Enron Wind Corp, are aiming to develop turbines that can operate in moderate winds in the 5.8-6.7 m/s range. Such turbines could open up large new markets and reduce costs by 20-25%, according to the Department of Energy. Under the agreements, the two turbine manufacturers will build and test prototype turbines by the year 2001. "We are confident the turbine we develop under this project, the WTC 1000, will produce unsubsidised electricity for three cents a kilowatt hour or less, compared with current wind energy production costs of four to five cents," says WTC's Larry Miles.

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