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

September 03, 2003

Cielo to Build an 80-Megawatt Wind Plant in New Mexico

Cielo Wind Power announced on August 27th that one of its affiliates, Caprock Wind LP, plans to build an 80-megawatt wind energy facility in eastern New Mexico. The new wind plant, called the Caprock Wind Ranch, will be located about 20 miles southeast of Tucumcari. Xcel Energy will buy all the power from the plant and sell it to its customers in parts of New Mexico, Texas, Oklahoma, and Kansas. The plant should start operating in August 2004, producing enough power to meet the annual needs of 26,600 homes in the four-state area. See the Cielo Wind Power press release.

A recent surge in wind project announcements has prompted the American Wind Energy Association (AWEA) to increase its forecast for 2003. AWEA now expects between 1,400 and 1,600 megawatts of new wind power capacity to be installed in 2003, increasing the total U.S. wind power capacity to more than 6,000 megawatts. According to AWEA, the projected growth beyond this year (including the Caprock Wind Ranch) depends heavily on an extension of the wind production tax credit, which is due to expire at year's end. See the AWEA press release.