Energy Northwest has approved a doubling of its wind capacity in April, even before the arrival on site of 37 Bonus turbines destined for its 48.1 MW Nine Canyon project, now under construction. The electricity co-operative's board approved a staff recommendation to at least double Energy Northwest's wind power capacity by adding the Zintel Canyon Wind Project on a ridge adjacent to its Nine Canyon project. The initial approval is for 50 MW, but Energy Northwest has secured the rights to enough land for at least 100 turbines, according to Energy Northwest's Don McManman. Public utility demand will determine the project's final size. Although the energy co-operative has not chosen a contractor or turbine type for Zintel Canyon, it is expecting to begin construction by November this year and to begin commercial operation by December 2003. Nor has the co-operative secured financing, but one option is a 22 year power purchase agreement with output from the plant sold under a take-or-pay power purchase contract, with each buyer committing to pay its share of the project's annual production cost regardless of the actual generation. Energy Northwest chose Britain's Renewable Energy Systems (Windpower Monthly, December 2001) as contractor for the Nine Canyon project and is installing Bonus 1.3 MW turbines this month.
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