Groundbreaking for a 400 MW FPL Energy wind project in Peetz, Colorado, started last month with the entire plant to be completed this year. The power from the GE 1.5 MW turbines will go to Xcel Energy, already the leading utility purchaser of wind power in the US. The Peetz Table Wind Energy Center was jointly developed by FPL and Invenergy Wind LLC. Invenergy has since transferred control of its share to FPL, while retaining an unspecified economic stake in the project. FPL Energy is constructing a 78 mile long transmission line to connect the wind plant to the grid. At the groundbreaking, Xcel's Karen Hyde said the utility's wind purchases this year mean it will reach Colorado's original renewable energy goal of 10% by 2015 seven years early." The goal is now 20% by 2020. Xcel also recently announced that it would build or buy 200 MW of wind power in North Dakota by 2011 following introduction of a non-binding objective for utilities serving the state to source 10% of their electricity from renewables by 2015. Xcel's Bonnie Lund says that although the law has no penalties for non-compliance, Xcel is following through on requests from state leaders to take advantage of the good North Dakota wind resource. Xcel, which provides 28% of North Dakota's electricity, would prefer to own a project but is open to all arrangements, says Lund.
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