American Zond Energy Systems says it is seeking better efficiency in a new 1.65 MW wind turbine which it expects to build by next year. Enron Wind CEO Ken Karas says the TZ 1650 will have a 300 foot tower and, at 230 feet, will have the wingspan of a Boeing 747. He expects the turbine to produce at a competitive $0.03-0.04/kWh -- and that is without government benefits, he said at Enron Wind's WindFest in Lake Benton, Minnesota (Windpower Monthly, October 1999). That compares with the $0.04/kWh estimated cost of electricity from Enron's Lake Benton II facility, which Karas said could drop to $0.02/kWh after the first couple of years; or with the $0.035/kWh cost at its Storm Lake project near Alta, Iowa. These facilities, however, were put on-line before June 30, 1999, so receive federal wind energy tax credits. Zond's Mary McCann could not clarify if the TZ 1650 is an amended version of the 1.8 MW prototype which Karas said in June would be installed by the end of the year, or if it is a smaller version of this model which has slipped behind schedule.
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