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

September 25, 2002

Large Wind Plants Planned for the Dakotas and Maryland

Four wind projects are currently planned or proposed that will add a total of 80 megawatts of capacity in the Dakotas and might add as much as 141 megawatts of capacity in Maryland.

In the Dakotas, Basin Electric Power Cooperative has reached an agreement with FPL Energy LLC to build two 40-megawatt wind plants, one in each state. The North Dakota facility will be located near Edgeley, about 30 miles south of Jamestown, and the South Dakota wind plant will be near Highmore, located just east of the center of the state. Central Power Electric Cooperative, a member and part owner of Basin Electric, will build an 11-mile transmission line to connect the North Dakota wind plant to an existing substation.

FPL Energy will build, own, and operate the two wind plants, each of which will be the largest in its state. When the plants start producing power in late 2003, Basin Electric will buy all the power and distribute it to its member utilities. The two plants will produce enough electricity to power 25,000 homes in the Dakotas. See the FPL Energy press release.

Basin Electric and Central Power are currently building a 2.6-megawatt wind facility near Minot in northwestern North Dakota. The Minot Air Force Base has committed to buy most of the electricity produced by the wind plant. See the Basin Electric press release.

In Maryland, two companies have each filed applications with the Public Service Commission (PSC) to build wind facilities in the state. Clipper Windpower, Inc. is proposing to build a 101-megawatt wind plant in Garrett County, located in the far-western corner of the state. Savage Mountain Wind Force, LLC is proposing to build a 40-megawatt wind plant that apparently straddles both Garrett County and its easterly neighbor, Allegany County. Both applications were filed in late August; the PSC will hold pre-hearing conferences for both proposals on October 8th. See the Maryland PSC Hearing Schedule.

Meanwhile, the proposed Cape Wind project off the coast of Massachusetts is getting a little help from the Massachusetts Technology Collaborative (MTC). In early September, the MTC unveiled a comprehensive public education and outreach initiative focused on "elevating the public discourse" regarding the project. See the MTC press release.