Northern States Power (NSP) hopes to issue a shortlist of finalists for the mammoth 100 MW Phase III of its wind project by the original target date -- the end of March -- despite having extended the deadline for bids to February 7 from January 20. Final award(s) should be announced by the close of the second quarter, says the Minneapolis utility. The solicitation requires that wind turbines are in the ground at the designated site -- adjacent to the first phase of 25 MW of Kenetech KVS-33 units -- by June 1, 1999. Zond Corp won the bid for Phase II of the project, all of which is being built on Buffalo Ridge in the southwest of the state. The timing of the second phase, also 100 MW, is not known publicly. NSP has, however, said it will be consistent with its agreement to have 225 MW of wind under contract by the end of 1998, part of a controversial and closely watched deal the utility made in exchange for being allowed to store nuclear waste within the state.