Atlantic Renewable Energy Corporation has sold its 66 MW Backbone Mountain project in West Virginia after three years of development that included smoothing the political pathway. Now known as the Mountaineer Wind Energy Center, ownership and operation goes to giant US generation developer FPL Energy. It is one of two utility scale projects planned for the state. US Windforce LLC owns the nearby Mount Storm wind project that has a 250 MW potential. Both owners fought for a tax law change in the state's legislature last year that ultimately achieves a near level fiscal playing field for wind in the power plant development market (Windpower Monthly, February 2002). FPL Energy's Mary Wells says the company is taking over all aspects of development, including construction, and will honour the commitments made to the community by Atlantic Renewables. FPL also assumes the 20-year power sales contract with the Exelon Power Team. The power will be sold to retail customers on the east coast through a marketing arrangement with Pennsylvania's Community Energy Inc. FPL began construction last month on the 4400-acre site and expects to have all 44 NEG Micon 1.5 MW turbines, worth about $40 million, operating by the end of the year. NEG Micon agreed in June to supply FPL Energy with up to 600 MW of wind turbines through 2003 (Windpower Monthly, July 2002).
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