SeaWest WindPower is developing a 16.8 MW addition to the Foote Creek Rim project in Wyoming. Ground breaking was due to start last month and SeaWest has signed a 20 year power purchase agreement for the output with Bonneville Power Administration (BPA). Twenty-eight new Mitsubishi MHI 600 kW turbines are being installed as Foote Creek IV. Once it is complete -- perhaps as soon as October, says SeaWest's Dave Roberts -- the four Foote Creek projects will total 84.8 MW.
"This is an example of BPA's commitment to renewable energy," says Judi Johansen, administrator of BPA. "Wind energy is getting more interest. Our customers are supporting it. We are bringing it to the market." The US Department of Energy administers BPA, which markets wholesale power and operates and markets transmission services in the Pacific Northwest. SeaWest, of San Diego in California, describes itself as the world's largest independent developer of utility-scale wind projects. In addition to Foote Creek, it has developed 500 MW of wind plant, in California, Spain and the United Kingdom.
Foote Creek I, from which power is sold to PacifiCorp and the Eugene Water and Electricity Board, both in Oregon, consists of 42 MW of NEG Micon turbines. BPA buys the 1.8 MW from Foote Creek II, generated by Mitsubishi MHI 600 kW turbines. Foote Creek III consists of 5 MW of Mitsubishi turbines, completed last year. That power is sold to Public Service of Colorado for its green pricing customers.
SeaWest may also develop more projects in Wyoming, adjacent to Foote Creek. There are undeveloped sites with potential for as much as 100-150 MW of installed wind capacity, says Roberts. The Foote Creek area is among the windiest in the US.