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Flying cloud in Iowa changes hands -- PPM Energy takes over

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A 44 MW Iowa project that is ready for construction traded hands last month when PPM Energy bought the Flying Cloud wind project at Storm Lake from Clipper Windpower Inc. The new owner intends to begin construction on the project this month, as well as at its 51 MW Moraine wind farm in southwest Minnesota (Windpower Monthly, December 2002). Together the projects will use 63, GE Wind Energy 1.5 MW turbines.

"Clipper did a great job on the early development of this project and we purchased their development work," says PPM's Jan Johnson. She says the site has sizeable potential for expansion, but the developer has no solid plans at this time to increase the project's size. PPM will sell the output from Flying Cloud to Interstate Power & Light, a subsidiary of Alliant Energy, under a 15-year contract.

Alliant's 300 MW

By the end of this year, Alliant, which serves 1.3 million customers in Iowa, Wisconsin, Minnesota and Illinois, says it will have contracts to buy close to 300 MW of wind power, fulfilling its Iowa renewables portfolio standard (RPS) requirement of 2% by 2011, and taking a significant bite out of its Wisconsin RPS requirement of 2.2% by 2011. In fact, according to Alliant's Chris Schoenherr, the utility is now selling some renewable energy credits out of Iowa to other utilities.

Flying Cloud is the first of two wind projects approved by Alliant in May 2002. Surprised by the low price of wind power it received in response to a request for proposals, it decided to double its planned purchases of new wind power. The utility also signed a second agreement with FPL Energy for a 42 MW project located near Garner in Hancock County, Iowa (Windpower Monthly, June 2002), which is being energised this month.

Alliant also buys wind power from three other Iowa wind farms and from FPL's 4.5 MW Montfort project in Wisconsin, all of which are included in the utility's baseload. Separately, it uses 1.3 MW of wind energy and 2 MW of landfill gas energy to provide renewable energy for its Second Nature green pricing program.

The output of PPM Energy's Moraine project, located 80 miles northwest on Buffalo Ridge, is being sold to Xcel Energy.

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