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

May 11, 2005

Large Wind Power Plant Moves Ahead in Idaho

Invenergy, LLC is preparing to build Idaho's largest wind plant, a 64.5-megawatt wind power project located about 10 miles southeast of Idaho Falls. PacifiCorp announced on May 3rd that it signed a power purchase agreement with Invenergy, allowing the company to move ahead with its Wolverine Creek project, which will comprise 43 1.5-megawatt wind turbines from GE Energy. Invenergy's subsidiary, Wolverine Creek Energy LLC, will build the project and place it in service by the end of this year. The project was one of many proposed to PacifiCorp in response to its February 2004 solicitation and is the first to result in a power purchase agreement. The utility remains in negotiations on other renewable energy projects. See the PacifiCorp press release.

While the Wolverine Creek project will be Idaho's largest to date, it's not clear if it will be the state's first large wind plant. The 10.5-megawatt Fossil Gulch Wind Plant is currently under development in Hagerman, Idaho, and it's uncertain which plant will be completed first. Like Wolverine Creek, the Fossil Gulch Wind Plant will feature GE Energy's 1.5-megawatt wind turbines. See the GE Energy press release.

Meanwhile, a number of other large wind projects are pressing ahead. FPL Energy just started commercial operation of its 106.5-megawatt Weatherford Wind Energy Center in Oklahoma, and is already planning to add another 40.5 megawatts. Farther north, the Nebraska Public Power District (NPPD) broke ground in mid-April on its 60-megawatt Ainsworth Wind Energy Facility, located six miles south of Ainsworth, Nebraska. The project will be Nebraska's largest wind facility when it begins operation in fall. In the Northeast, EverPower Wind LLC announced plans in mid-April to build a 70-megawatt wind project in Steuben County, New York, west of Elmira. And on the West Coast, the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power (LADWP) has approved the final Environmental Impact Report for the 120-megawatt Pine Tree Wind Project, which will be located about 12 miles north of Mojave, California. If construction is approved, LADWP will start on the project this summer and complete it next year. Once built, it will be the largest municipally owned wind plant in the United States. See the press releases from FPL Energy, NPPD, EverPower Wind, and LADWP.