This is an excerpt from EERE Network News, a weekly electronic newsletter.

May 31, 2006

New Wind Plants Planned for California, Colorado, Iowa, and Oregon


Photo of four large wind turbines.

General Electric's 1.5-megawatt wind turbines will soon be erected at new wind plants in Colorado and Oregon.
Credit: GE Energy, © 2004, General Electric Company

A recent wave of large wind turbine orders and project announcements spanning four states suggests that wind power will continue growing strong at least through 2007. PPM Energy had previously announced orders for 500 megawatts (MW) of General Electric wind turbines over the next two years, but in late May it announced another 857 MW of wind turbines on order from four major suppliers, also for the next two years. The company revealed where some of those GE wind turbines are destined: to a 100-MW wind plant near Arlington, Oregon, and a 75-MW wind plant near Lamar, Colorado. The Leaning Juniper Wind Project should start producing power for Oregon by year's end, while the Twin Buttes Wind Power Project in Colorado will be completed in 2007. PPM Energy recently completed one of its projects, the 150-MW Elk River Wind Project in central Kansas, which is now the state's largest wind plant. See the PPM Energy press releases.

An Oregon utility plans to follow PPM Energy's lead in that state, while other utilities aim to deliver new wind power to California and Iowa. In Oregon, Portland General Electric (PGE) is proposing to buy the development rights to the Biglow Canyon Wind Farm near the state's northern border. PGE plans to erect between 350 and 450 MW of wind turbines at the site, starting with 126 MW that could be installed by the end of next year. The Oregon Public Utility Commission is currently reviewing PGE's proposal to buy the plans from developer Orion Energy, LLC. In California, San Diego Gas and Electric Company earned approval from the state in late May to purchase 205.5 MW of wind power from enXco. The wind power developer will build a new facility in the Tehachapi area of southern California, with power delivery to begin in 2008. And in Iowa, MidAmerican Energy plans to add 545 megawatts of wind power, possibly by the end of 2007, including a 99-MW project in west central Iowa. See the press releases from Orion Energy, enXco, and MidAmerican Energy.

All this news should provide plenty of optimism at the wind industry's annual meeting, the WINDPOWER 2006 Conference and Exhibition, which runs from June 4th to the 7th in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. See the conference Web site.

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