Utilities Push Wind Projects

March 18, 1999 by Jeff Shepard

Two utilities recently announced new wind power projects. Wisconsin Electric (Milwaukee) announced plans to build two new wind turbines specially designed to make optimum use of Wisconsin's lower wind speeds, and Green Mountain Energy (South Burlington, VT) announced an "upgrade" of its Wind for the Future renewable energy product to provide more energy from new wind turbines. Wisconsin Electric's new turbines, manufactured by Vestas-American Wind Technology Inc., will be installed by the end of June in the town of Byron. The wind turbines will each have a rotor with three 75-foot-long blades. The rotor is mounted on a tubular steel tower about 215 feet tall, giving the structure a total height of 290 feet. Each turbine can generate 660kW of electricity, depending on wind speeds; enough to supply about 300 homes. Over the course of a year, the turbines will generate approximately 1,726MWh of electricity. Green Mountain announced that Wind for the Future 2.0, its wind product for California customers, will consist of 100 percent renewable energy, 25 percent of which will come from new wind turbines. The utility's original product promises that 10 percent of its energy will come from new wind generation. Green Mountain's first Wind for the Future 2.0 customer is the California office of the Union of Concerned Scientists, which chose the utility's offering to power its new electric car charging station in its parking lot in Berkeley, California.