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Major repowering of old wind farms starts

Large scale repowering of California's earliest wind farms is under way with less than a year left of America's federal tax credit. A new international consortium, WindCo, which combines some of the most powerful companies in business, announced on July 10 that it had started the repowering of a wind farm acquired from FloWind Corp. WindCo, based in London, consists of M&N Wind Power (a partnership between Japanese financier Nichimen Corp of Japan and Danish turbine maker NEG Micon), British developer Renewable Energy Systems Ltd, and FPL Energy, part of the US energy giant FPL Group Inc, which also owns the utility Florida Power and Light. An announcement of the repowering, which will consist of NM 700/44 turbines from NEG Micon, was issued by M&N Wind Power's US office, in San Diego, California. It also came a day after NEG Micon announced in Copenhagen that it had a contract worth about DKK 290 million ($42 million) to deliver 80 turbines to WindCo in the United States for the repowering. Construction on Cameron Ridge had been expected ever since a joint plan of reorganisation for FloWind was approved by the US Bankruptcy Court on June 2 (Windpower Monthly, July 1998). Cameron Ridge is one of the windiest sites in California. It also represents more than half of the 90 MW of wind farm assets that WindCo bought from FloWind. Unless extended, the federal tax credit of $0.015/kWh will expire at the end of June 1999.

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