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Enron Wind lives on in bankruptcy court

General Electric may have purchased the meat of Enron Wind, but the company, owned by fallen energy trader Enron Corp, continues to exist. What is left is still under bankruptcy court control, says new Enron Wind boss Eric Gadd. Because of the bankruptcy, and just having arrived at his post from outside the wind industry, Gadd says he cannot talk about Enron Wind's future.

GE bought all of the company's manufacturing assets out of a New York bankruptcy court, but with its decision not to be an owner and developer of wind plant, it left most existing wind farms in the hands of Enron Wind. Among those are plant in California and Europe-and projects being developed in Latin America, says Enron Wind's Michael Payne. The company most recently signed a pact with Mexican developer Grupo Fuerza, forming Fuerza Eolica, to develop projects with a combined capacity of 425 MW, with an additional 400 MW in planning. One is a proposed 300 MW project in Baja that would produce power for the US (Windpower Monthly, May 2002).

Of projects in the US that GE did buy from Enron is the 163 MW slated for Lamar. It sat on hold in Colorado while the Enron Wind sale was sorted out in bankruptcy court. Xcel Energy in Colorado says it is again negotiating with GE Wind over a purchase price. The anomaly of GE continuing to pursue this project has some in the wind industry wondering if GE does not want to find a buyer for the project before it closes the power purchase deal with Xcel.

Still in question is the fate of Enron Wind. While Gadd, located in Houston, is not saying anything, several months ago Adam Umanoff, then president of Enron Wind, said he expects assets not sold to GE Wind Energy would be sold as soon as possible out of the bankruptcy court.

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