United States

United States

Moving into the fast lane

FPL Energy has amassed total or part ownership of 950 MW of wind projects in the western states of California, Oregon and Washington and 913 MW in the midwestern and southern states of Minnesota, Wisconsin, Kansas and Texas. It is now proceeding to add 37 MW to the Oregon side of its 263 MW Stateline Project and is building the 66 MW Mountaineer project in West Virginia (Windpower Monthly, September 2002), the 98 MW Hancock project in northern Iowa (Windpower Monthly, June 2002) and two 40 MW projects in North and South Dakota (Windpower Monthly, October 2002).

Last month it said it would build two new projects in New Mexico and California and is buying three projects -- Indian Mesa (82.5 MW) and Delaware County (30 MW) in Texas and Green Mountain (10.4 MW) in Pennsylvania -- from the UK's National Wind Power (NWP), bringing FPL's total wind expansion to a sizeable 758 MW by the close of 2003. NWP is pulling out of the US because it has lost its tax position -- and thus access to wind's federal tax credit -- following the retreat of its parent, National Power, from the American market.

Jim Robo, FPL Energy's president, says the new initiatives signify "further progress on our strategy to profitably expand our generation portfolio through the addition of wind power facilities."

FPL reached a power purchase agreement with Public Service Company of New Mexico to build the 204 MW New Mexico Wind Energy Center in the eastern reaches of the state. Raising of the 136, 1.5 MW turbines (FPL has not announced a supplier) will begin this year.

Also beginning construction this year, pending permitting approval, is the 150 MW High Winds Energy Center in Solano County in northern California. PacifiCorp Power Marketing (PPM) expects to take delivery of the power as early as summer 2003. Although PPM will not say who will buy the power it says it is confident in California's position as not only the nation's largest renewables market, but also the state with the nation's most aggressive renewables portfolio standard, according to PPM's Jan Johnson.

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