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

October 29, 2003

Big Wind Energy Projects Hit the Great Plains

New wind power plants went online in October in the Great Plains states of North and South Dakota-the first large wind facilities in those states-while construction began on a new large wind plant on the plains of eastern Colorado.

Both North and South Dakota gained 40 megawatts of wind power as FPL Energy completed the North Dakota I Wind Energy Center and the South Dakota Wind Energy Center in the first half of October. Basin Electric Power Cooperative is buying all the power from the two sites, each of which draws on 27 1.5-megawatt wind turbines manufactured by GE Wind Energy. In late October, FPL Energy completed its second wind project in North Dakota, the North Dakota II Wind Energy Center, a 21-megawatt project that will provide power to the Otter Tail Power Company. The facility consists of 14 of the 1.5-megawatt GE Wind Energy turbines. See the October 6th and October 14th press releases from Basin Electric, as well as the Otter Tail Power Company press release.

The Colorado plains will soon host the state's largest wind power plant, a 162-megawatt facility near Lamar, about 100 miles east of Pueblo. PPM Energy, Inc. and Shell WindEnergy, Inc. are building the Colorado Green Wind Project using-you guessed it-108 1.5-megawatt wind turbines from GE Wind Energy. Xcel Energy is buying all the power produced by the new facility, which should be complete by year-end. See the PPM Energy press release.

PPM Energy is active in California, as well: the company is building the 22-megawatt Mountain View III wind facility in Riverside County, near the Arizona border. FPL Energy is also gaining more wind energy assets in California, but is buying rather than building them: the company is acquiring 130 megawatts of wind power capacity that is currently owned by Enron. The $80-million deal is subject to regulatory approval and acceptance at a bankruptcy auction, scheduled for early December. See the PPM Energy and FPL Energy press releases.