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Major Texan utility buys another 125 MW

The largest purchaser of wind energy in Texas, TXU Wholesale, is to buy a further 125 MW in a 15-year contract for power from Airtricity's Forest Creek project, under construction near Big Spring. The deal will up the volume of wind in TXU's supply portfolio to 705 MW. "There are other wind contracts out there that we're negotiating, but nothing else we're announcing now," says TXU's Tom Kleckner. The Forest Creek project, expected online January 1, is using Siemens 2.3 MW turbines. Irish company Airtricity, founded in 1999, will own and operate the facility. Airtricity entered the US market in 2003 and now has 1000 MW at various stages of development in the US, though none is online. TXU Wholesale is a subsidiary of TXU Corp, which provides electricity and related services to some 2.3 million customers in Texas, more than any other retail electric provider in the state. The company operates more than 18,300 MW of generation in Texas, including 2300 MW of nuclear and 5837 MW of lignite/coal-fired generation capacity. "TXU is committed to building on its leadership position in wind power," says the company's Mike McCall. "The growing Texas market indicates there is a consumer demand for renewable energy, and we're committed to adding renewable energy to our portfolio," he says.

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