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

January 26, 2005

First Utility-Scale Wind Plants Slated for New Jersey and Montana

Computer-generated image of four wind turbines installed at a wastewater treatment facility.

The Altantic City Wind Farm will be built at a wastewater facility and will feature five wind turbines, four of which are shown in this computer-generated image.
Credit: Atlantic County Utilities Authority

While offshore wind development in New Jersey has ground to a halt, the state's first large onshore wind project is moving ahead. The 7.5-megawatt Atlantic City Wind Farm is expected to start operating in mid-year. The wind plant developer, Community Energy, Inc., reached an agreement with the New Jersey Audubon Society in mid-December, allowing the project to move ahead. Community Energy and the Audubon Society will launch a detailed study using new radar technology to determine if the wind turbine towers affect bird migration. The facility will feature five 1.5-megawatt wind turbines from GE Energy and will be built at a wastewater treatment facility operated by the Atlantic County Utilities Authority (ACUA). See the Community Energy press release and the ACUA Web site.

Montana is also poised to receive its first large-scale wind plant, as NorthWestern Energy has agreed to purchase the power output from a $150-million wind facility to be constructed by Invenergy Wind LLC. The wind plant will have a capacity of 135 to 150 megawatts and will be located near Judith Gap in south-central Montana. The 8,000-acre wind facility will feature roughly 75 to 100 turbines with a capacity of about 1.5 to 1.8 megawatts each. Construction is expected to begin before mid-2005. See the NorthWestern Energy press release.

A number of other wind power projects are now in various stages of progress throughout the country. In Washington, Puget Sound Energy (PSE) has agreed to buy the proposed 150-megawatt Hopkins Ridge Wind Project from Blue Sky Wind LLC. Located near Dayton in the southeast corner of the state, the project is expected to start producing power by mid-2006. In Oregon, Portland General Electric (PGE) agreed to buy power from a 75-megawatt expansion of the Klondike II Wind Project located near Wasco, just south of the state's northern border. In Kansas, PPM Energy is moving ahead with the 150-megawatt Elk River Wind Power Project, located near Beaumont, about 45 miles east of Wichita. Texas is also gaining another large wind plant, as AES Corporation announced on January 11th that it will buy SeaWest Holdings, Inc., and in the process, it plans to acquire and build SeaWest's planned 120-megawatt Buffalo Gap wind project near Abilene. AEP plans to complete construction by year-end. Finally, MidAmerican Energy has finished building the 160.5-megawatt Intrepid Wind Project in Sac and Buena Vista counties in northwest Iowa. The project is the largest in the state and will be joined this summer by the company's 150-megawatt Century Wind Project, located near Blairsburg in north-central Iowa. MidAmerican Energy even posted a virtual tour of the wind project. See the press releases from PSE, PGE, PPM Energy, AES, and MidAmerican, and see the MidAmerican virtual tour.