Hokkaido Electric Power has selected three business groups to supply it with new wind energy up to March 2002. The company issued a tender for 57 MW and six business groups responded with proposals for 195 MW in nine projects. The first project in the three selected is a 21 MW wind farm at Horonobe to be developed by trading company Itochu and the large steel maker NKK, with a start date of November 2001. The second project, again 21 MW and for completion in November 2001, is slated for Esashi town and is being developed by Hitakomuten KK. The third project of 15 MW will be built at Wakkanai city by trading company Marubeni and will be on-ine by July 2001. Hokkaido Electric, also known as Hokuden, has set a 60 MW limit for new wind capacity because it says wind power supply is too unstable and too expensive. The cap is effective until March 2002. Some 70 wind power projects with a combined output of 550 MW are otherwise estimated to be in some stage of planning on the island. Under national law the utility is required to buy wind power for ¥11.6/kW for 17 years.