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

October 13, 2004

Wind Power Projects Press Ahead in Oregon, Minnesota, and Canada

Photo of a man who appears tiny atop the hub of a massive wind turbine.

A worker prepares to enter the hub of GE's 1.5-megawatt wind turbine. GE has installed 2,500 of these wind turbines worldwide.
Credit: Sandia National Laboratories

With President Bush's October 4th signing of the "Working Families Tax Relief Act of 2004," which extends the wind energy production tax credit until the end of 2005, a number of wind power projects are now moving ahead in the United States. PPM Energy announced on October 5th that it will start building two new wind facilities: the 75-megawatt Klondike II wind project in Sherman County, Oregon, and the 100-megawatt Trimont Wind project in southwestern Minnesota. Both projects are fully permitted and are expected to begin operation in 2005, at a capital investment of about $200 million. PPM Energy also claims to have another 200 megawatts of wind power that are "at late-stage development with further announcements expected shortly." See the PPM Energy press release.

Although U.S. wind projects are now regaining their momentum, Canada is making major strides toward building its wind energy capacity. Last week, Hydro-Quebec Distribution awarded eight wind energy projects totaling 990 megawatts to two companies: Cartier Wind Energy Inc. and Northland Power Inc. The six projects range from 58.5 megawatts to 211.5 megawatts and are expected to cost about $1.5 billion. The wind projects will go into service between 2006 and 2012 and will be a boon to GE Energy, since it is providing its 1.5-megawatt wind turbines for all of the projects. GE Energy has already installed 2,500 of the turbines worldwide. See the press releases from Hydro Quebec and GE Energy.

A massive wind power project in western Canada is also moving forward, as Sea Breeze Power Corp. has been issued an environmental permit for its 450-megawatt Knob Hill Wind Farm, to be located on the northern tip of Vancouver Island. The facility is expected to cost about $550 million. See the Sea Breeze Power press release and Knob Hill project Web page.