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First turbines up at Nine Canyon

Last month residents of the nearby town of Kennewick watched as the first five turbines at Energy Northwest's 48.2 MW Nine Canyon wind farm began producing energy in the state of Washington. Another five were due to go into service early this month.

Late last month residents of the nearby town of Kennewick watched as the first five turbines at Energy Northwest's 48.2 MW Nine Canyon wind farm began producing energy in the state of Washington. Another five were due to go into service early this month. Electricity generating facilities are a familiar sight in the region, but until now they have all been hydroelectric and nuclear power plant. Turbine installation is being started on the lower section of the ridge in sight of a residential area outside Kennewick, says Gary Miller of Energy Northwest. Nine Canyon is the largest wind farm in the US owned by a public utility -- and Energy Northwest plans to double its wind capacity next year if it can get enough subscribers for its 50 MW Zintel Canyon project, to be located on a nearby ridge (Windpower Monthly, May 2002).

"Zintel is in the marketing process before permitting and spending many dollars," says Miller. "We're confident it will go, but as a public agency our pace is a lot more plodding than a private company."

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