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Shell confirms purchase of Wyoming wind farm

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Oil company Shell has confirmed its purchase of the 50 MW Rock River I wind power project in Wyoming through its Shell Renewables US subsidiary (Windpower Monthly, June 2001). The deal moves Shell's renewables business "up from experimental to commercial scale," says the company. Rock River I is being developed by SeaWest Windpower of California, with the output going to PacifiCorp Power Marketing (PPM), a subsidiary of Scottish Power. Shell and Scottish Power are developing adjacent offshore wind farms off the British coast. Renewables US, a company owned by Shell Renewables of Amsterdam, completed the wind farm purchase with SeaWest in late July. The 20-year power purchase agreement with PPM also includes an agreement to buy the wind farm's emissions reduction credits, which PacifiCorp will either trade or use to offset its emissions at its other generating plants, many of which use coal. Rock River I, which will use 50 Mitsubishi 1 MW turbines, is the fifth extension of the Foote Creek project in Wyoming, which began as a joint project with PacifiCorp, Bonneville Power Administration and the Eugene Water and Electric Board as partners. Rock River I is under construction now and is due for completion in October. The Royal Dutch/Shell Group recently upped its intended investment in new renewables projects to $1 billion over the next five years. Karen de Segundo, Chief Executive Officer of Shell Renewables, told investors in London in June that the group is to invest between $0.5 billion and $1 billion in developing a range of new energy businesses, concentrating primarily on solar and wind energy. In wind, Shell is focusing on developing and operating wind farms and selling green electricity. The company says it is currently evaluating 1000 MW of wind projects in Europe, North America and Africa. Its aim in the next few years is to create a platform for growth, that builds on its strengths, from projects that typically give double digit project returns on an equity basis, said de Segundo.

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