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

July 03, 2002

First Large Wind Plants Planned for Illinois and West Virginia

Two of the largest wind power facilities east of the Mississippi will be built in Illinois and West Virginia within the year, announced developers on June 26th. The two wind plants will be the first commercial wind power facilities in each state.

Illinois Wind Energy and Tomen Power Corporation plan to build a 51-megawatt wind power facility near Tiskilwa, Illinois, approximately 110 miles west of Chicago. The Crescent Ridge wind energy project will employ 34 of NEG Micon's 1.5-megawatt wind turbines, providing enough power for roughly 20,000 homes. Commonwealth Edison (ComEd) is buying all the power from the project, which should be completed by mid-2003. Unlike many recent wind projects, the power will be included in ComEd's regular power supply, rather than sold at a premium as green power. See the ComEd press release.

In West Virginia, FPL Energy is preparing to build a 66-megawatt wind plant called the Mountaineer Wind Energy Center. FPL Energy bought the project rights from Atlantic Renewable Energy Corporation, which had previously pursued it under the name of the Backbone Mountain Wind Project. Construction will begin in July on the wind power facility, which will comprise 44 of NEG Micon's 1.5-megawatt wind turbines along Backbone Mountain, located near the town of Thomas. Construction is expected to be complete by year-end. See the FPL Energy press release.

According to NEG Micon, the turbines for the West Virginia project will cost FPL Energy about $40 million. But FPL Energy also has an option to buy an additional 350 1.5-megawatt turbines - totaling 525 megawatts of wind capacity - through the end of 2003. If FPL Energy exercises that option, it would represent a total purchase worth roughly $400 million. See the NEG Micon press release.

While the West Virginia and Illinois projects charge ahead, a proposed 420-megawatt wind plant in the waters offshore of Massachusetts continues to advance slowly but steadily through the permitting process. In late June, the Army Corps of Engineers released its Scope of Work for the Cape Wind project's Environmental Impact Statement. See the Corps press release and the 7-page Scope of Work (PDF 27 KB). Download Acrobat Reader.