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

June 05, 2002

Nebraska Wind Project Breaks Ground; Other Projects Advance in Iowa, Montana, Texas, and California

The Municipal Energy Agency of Nebraska (MEAN) broke ground on its 10.5-megawatt wind facility in early May. The Kimball wind facility will be the largest in the state. MEAN is a wholesale electricity supply organization that serves 53 member communities and one public power district in Nebraska, Colorado, Kansas and Wyoming. See the MEAN press release.

The MEAN groundbreaking seems to belie a report issued in February by the Nebraska Power Association (NPA). The NPA was asked to examine the feasibility of creating a public authority to develop one or more major wind projects in the state. The report, created at the behest of Nebraska Governor Mike Johanns, concluded that financing issues and perceived financial risks were hurdles too high for a public authority to overcome, but still suggested that its member utilities might support smaller-scale wind projects. The NPA represents public utilities in the state. See the NPA Wind Report.

In the rest of the country, wind projects are advancing steadily. Ameresco Inc., the majority owner of Montana Wind Harness, announced in mid-May that a project to develop 150 megawatts of wind power in Montana is on track, with leasing agreements in hand for a number of key locations. Alliant Energy-Interstate Power and Light announced in early May that Clipper Windpower, Inc., was selected to provide the utility with 150,000 megawatt-hours of new wind energy by building 29 new wind turbines near Spirit Lake, Iowa. American Electric Power, which bought the 160-megawatt Indian Mesa project in West Texas in January, renamed it the "Desert Sky Wind Project" and held a dedication ceremony in early May. And Shell WindEnergy bought the 41-megawatt Cabazon Pass wind facility, a project that is being built in California by the Cannon Power Corporation. The facility is expected online in August.