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Wellspring turbines up this summer

On Earth Day a small Minnesota utility announced that it has contracted for a three turbine wind farm to provide electricity for what it says is America's most affordable green pricing program. Co-operative Power (CP), of Eden Prairie in Minnesota, says it has chosen US developer Foras Energy Inc to build and operate the wind plant for its Wellspring Renewable Energy Program.

Foras, a finance entity based in Palm Springs, California, was formerly known as Difko Administration and originates in Denmark. Danish manufacturer Vestas Wind Systems will provide the 660 kW turbines.

"We're very excited to announce this agreement on Earth Day," said Will Kaul, the utility's director of generation and transmission. "It's the culmination of months of hard work and a significant commitment by our member co-op consumers to purchase renewable energy."

Indeed, customers had signed up for more than 3800 blocks of 100 kWh of electricity -- for an additional $2.00 per block -- before the contract was signed. Construction of the $2.5 million wind farm, near Worthington, is to start this summer.

The Wellspring program's green power is being offered by 13 of CP's co-op members. Wind was chosen as it is the cheapest renewable in the area -- and it is easier to incorporate than other options," said CP's Rick Lancaster. CP is a generation and transmission co-operative with more than 500,000 customers in west-central and southern Minnesota.

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