United States

United States

Shell sets Rock River rolling

SeaWest Windpower has completed the Rock River 1 wind project for owner Shell WindEnergy Inc. Four months after breaking ground all 50 Mitsubishi 1 MW turbines at the Wyoming project began generating electricity in mid-November. It is Shell's first large wind project in the United States (Windpower Monthly, August 2001). And the oil giant promises the project will not be its last.

"Wyoming, and indeed the US, has huge potential for wind energy and we intend to become a major player in the wind energy market here," says David Jones of Shell WindEnergy. "Wind energy is the fastest growing area of power generation worldwide and the US is an important part of our growth strategy in this area."

Rock River I is the fifth extension of the Foote Creek project in Wyoming, which began as a joint project with PacifiCorp, the Bonneville Power Administration and the Eugene Water and Electric Board as partners. Like the Foote Creek projects, Seawest used Mitsubishi turbines, but for Rock River 1 it used the larger 1 MW model.

PacifiCorp says it is buying the entire output of the new project, as well as 41.4 MW from Foote Creek. With the 264 MW purchase from FPL Energy's Stateline project in the Northwest, the utility is well on its way to buying the 1000 MW of wind by 2005 it says is its short term goal. Shell says it is building 1000 MW in wind generation in the US, Europe and North Africa.

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