United States

United States

First operating deadline extended

More than three-quarters of the foundations have been poured for the 107 MW of Zond Z-48 turbines destined for installation on Buffalo Ridge, Minnesota. The progress was reported to visitors at an "open house" for the project. The wind plant, to feature 143 of the 750 kW turbines, is to be on line by June 1998. An original deadline, for 20% of the wind farm to be operating by the end of October, has been quietly extended.

By the last weekend in October more than three-quarters of the foundations had been poured for the 107 MW of Zond Z-48 turbines destined for installation on Buffalo Ridge, Minnesota. The progress was reported to visitors at an "open house" for the project, which drew some 120 people to a tent on a wind swept bluff for an informal ground breaking near Lake Benton. The wind plant, to feature 143 of the 750 kW turbines, is to be on line by June 30 next year.

An original deadline, for 20% of the wind farm to be operating by the end of October, has been quietly extended. The project is Phase II of the Buffalo Ridge wind installation for utility Northern States Power (NSP) of Minneapolis. It is being developed by Enron Wind Corporation (EWC). The extension of "partial connection" of the wind plant, because of a delay with the shipment of the first one-fifth or nearly 30 of the turbines, is confirmed by Rich Halet, NSP account manager. He says the cause of the delay has not been specified in more detail, but that some turbines are expected to have arrived in Minnesota by early November. On October 29, EWC senior officials were still not available to comment on the delay. According to state legislation, NSP must have a total of 425 MW of wind capacity in place by the end of 2002. The first 25 MW was installed by Kenetech. Phase III of the Buffalo Ridge plant will also be built by EWC.

Dozens of 50 foot towers and one newly arrived set of blades were on site at the time of the open house, which drew local dignitaries, some members of the wind industry and representatives from the Lake Benton office of EWC. The local newspaper from Marshall was also present, says EWC's Mary McCann. The turbines are being made by Zond Energy Systems Inc, the part of EWC that still carries the name Zond.

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