In Texas, Cielo's 240 MW Noelke Hill Wind Ranch near McCamey may not get built until 2004. It had been scheduled for completion in September 2002. "Mainly, the slow pace is because of aggregating the financing for the project," says Cielo's Walt Hornaday. "The goal is to get something in the ground in 2003, but the critical path right now is financing." Other industry sources are putting the blame for the slow progress on what they say is a need for several line upgrades to clear the transmission path out of the area. The wind industry has long been lobbying for more transmission (page 56). Hornaday, however, says that while he is concerned about transmission constraints in West Texas, the slowdown on the project is due to lining up all the needed financing. He says Cielo is still working on the assumption it can get the project done this year, but the financing would have to line up no later than June and then the company would have to work at a 40 MW per month pace to complete the project before the federal production tax credit expires at the end of the year. "We're still working on getting it all in, but if we don't get ground broken by June, it will push it into 2004," Hornaday says.
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