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

December 11, 2002

Large Wind Power Projects Slated for California and Minnesota

California and Minnesota will gain a total of 200 megawatts of new wind power capacity, thanks to plans now underway by several firms.

In southwestern Minnesota, PacifiCorp Power Marketing, Inc. (PPM) will build the 50-megawatt Moraine Wind Power Project using 34 wind turbines from GE Wind Energy. GE's 1.5-megawatt wind turbines, manufactured in California, are currently the largest made in the United States. Xcel Energy will buy all of the power from the wind facility, which will begin commercial operation in fall 2003. The project will produce enough electricity to meet the annual needs of 19,000 average U.S. homes. See the GE Wind Energy press release (PDF 87 KB). Download Acrobat Reader.

Minnesota has significant wind energy resources, but they are concentrated in the southwest corner of the state. See the high-resolution wind resource maps on the Minnesota State Energy Office Web site.

PPM, the developer of the Minnesota project, will also buy the entire output from the 150-megawatt High Winds wind power project, to be built in northern California by FPL Energy. Vestas Wind Systems A/S announced on Monday that the project, to be located in Solano County, will use the company's 1.8-megawatt wind turbines, currently the largest wind turbines sold in North America. The High Winds project is expected to begin operating in summer 2003. See the press releases from PPM and Vestas.

A number of smaller wind projects are now underway across the country: the Southern Minnesota Municipal Power Agency (SMMPA) is installing two 950-kilowatt wind turbines near Rochester (in southeast Minnesota); the Palmdale Water District in southern California, just north of Los Angeles, is planning to install a one-megawatt wind turbine near Lake Palmdale, with assistance from Black & Veatch Corporation; and Xcel Energy and Cielo Wind Power, LLC are planning to add two 660-kilowatt wind turbines to the Llano Estacado Wind Ranch in eastern Curry County, New Mexico. Among recently completed projects, Basin Electric Power Cooperative helped dedicate two new 1.3-megawatt wind turbines near Minot, North Dakota, and Oncor, the energy delivery unit of TXU, completed two transmission lines that will help deliver West Texas wind power to customers in North Texas. See the press releases from SMMPA, Black & Veatch, Xcel Energy, Basin Electric, and TXU.