Wisconsin-based Madison Gas & Electric (MG&E) will release a solicitation in November for 10-20 MW of wind energy to fulfil customer subscriptions in its green pricing program. With a 3.6% participation rate among its 130,000 residential and commercial customers already, the utility says it is aiming to be the first US investor-owned utility with a 5% participation rate. Customers pay a premium of $5 for a 150 kWh block. The utility now owns an 11.2 MW wind plant in Kewaunee County, Wisconsin, completed in 1999 with 17 Vestas 660 kW turbines. MG&E's Greg Bollum says that with the advent of larger turbines that operate better in the low wind speed areas of Wisconsin, it expects lower costs from a new project, which could lower the premium. MG&E will require all project proposals to have community approval, says Bollum, avoiding the backlash experienced by FPL Energy in Addison, where the developer abandoned a proposed project due to community pressure.
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