A total of 35 MW of projects in Illinois, Iowa and Minnesota are helping Northern Alternative Energy (NAE) of Minnesota to spread a web of wind turbines over the Midwest. First, NAE plans to build a 31.5 MW wind farm in west-central Illinois by spring 2001 that will feed electricity into the Chicago metropolitan area, reports the company's Greg Jaunich. The project will use 35, 900 kW turbines from NEG Micon of Denmark. Both the proposed site and the city are in Commonwealth Edison's service area, but a power purchase agreement is yet undecided. The project could grow larger if NAE is a successful bidder in the city's request for renewable energy (above). The company is also installing four 660 kW Vestas machines in north-west Iowa and southern Minnesota to supply power for Alliant Energy's Second Nature green pricing product, Jaunich reports. Lastly, NAE plans to install in January a NEG Micon NM52 900 kW turbine in Buffalo Hills, Minnesota, for another green pricing program. The 18 municipal utility members of the Southern Minnesota Municipal Power Agency (SMMPA) will be able to buy the power in 100 kWh blocks, Jaunich says. Residential customers may buy the wind product this autumn, but they will not pay until the turbine begins producing energy. The SMMPA is offering the service because of the size and low cost of Minnesota's wind resource, says the agency's Dan Hayes, and because customers of SMMPA member utilities have "asked us to provide this home grown renewable electricity to them.
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