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

October 08, 2003

New Large Wind Facilities Online in California and New Mexico

FPL Energy, LLC maintained its reputation as the largest U.S. wind power developer in recent weeks, with the dedication of both its 162-megawatt wind power plant in California and its 204-megawatt wind plant in New Mexico. California's new High Winds Energy Center had a capacity of 150 megawatts when it was dedicated on September 18th, but it will be expanded to 162 megawatts before the end of the year. PPM Energy, Inc. is buying all the power from the project and selling it wholesale to cities throughout the state. The New Mexico Wind Energy Center, dedicated on October 1st, is the world's third-largest wind power facility. The Public Service Company of New Mexico (PNM) is buying all the power from the project for sale to its customers through the "PNM Sky Blue" green power program. See the press releases from PPM Energy and PNM.

The California Independent System Operator (ISO), which operates California's power grid, claimed some of the credit for the High Winds Energy Center. According to the ISO, California wind generators are usually able to avoid "deviation penalties" incurred when they deliver more or less energy than they are scheduled to deliver. While such penalties can cause a significant roadblock to wind energy development in other states, the California ISO uses high-tech wind forecasting to schedule the wind energy about one hour ahead of time. The ISO also allows wind energy producers to "net out" any deviations over the course of a month, which helps to minimize any penalties. The wind energy producers now enrolled in the ISO program represent more than 300 megawatts of wind energy capacity. See the California ISO press release (PDF 28 KB). Download Acrobat Reader.