Wisconsin Power and Light Co. moves to expand wind generation
Bent Tree Wind Farm has the potential to power approximately 100,000 homes
Wisconsin Power and Light Company (WPL), a wholly-owned subsidiary of Alliant Energy Corporation (NYSE: LNT), filed a Certificate of Public Convenience and Necessity (CPCN) application today with the Public Service Commission of Wisconsin (PSCW) for the Bent Tree Wind Farm, a proposed wind farm in Freeborn County, Minnesota.
The Bent Tree Wind Farm has the potential to produce up to 400 megawatts (MW) of emissions-free energy, which is enough to power approximately 100,000 homes. WPL’s CPCN application seeks PSCW approval to develop approximately 200 MW of wind power on the site beginning in 2009. A decision regarding the development of the wind farm’s additional 200 MW has not yet been made. Pending all regulatory approvals, WPL anticipates 200 MW of the Bent Tree Wind Farm will be commercially operable by the end of 2010. The initial 200 MW phase of the project will cost approximately $450 to $475 million, excluding allowance for funds used during construction.
“Developing Bent Tree Wind Farm is the next logical step in WPL’s commitment to not only wind energy, but all renewable energy,” said Barbara Swan, President of WPL. “We will continue to seek environmentally friendly alternative sources of energy to complement our baseload generation initiatives, which furthers our goal of providing reliable, affordable and environmentally responsible power to our customers.”
“WPL chose to develop the Bent Tree site in Minnesota because of the strong and persistent prairie winds of southern Minnesota,” explained Kim Zuhlke, Vice President of New Energy Resources for Alliant Energy. “This wind resource enables us to generate more wind energy for our Wisconsin customers in a cost effective manner.”
In April, WPL executed a letter of intent to purchase Bent Tree Wind Farm from Wind Capital Group, LLC. WPL currently anticipates the purchase of the site to be complete by October 2008. “Wind Capital Group is a leader in developing wind energy and we are extremely pleased to continue working with them, not only on this project, but others as well,” said Zuhlke.
“The Bent Tree Wind Farm represents a continuation of our work to bring wind energy home to rural communities,” said Wind Capital Group President Tom Carnahan. “We are proud to partner with an industry leader like WPL on this and other projects.”
Bent Tree Wind Farm is expected to be WPL’s second fully owned and operated wind farm. By the end of this year the company’s first such project, the Cedar Ridge Wind Farm, a 68 MW wind farm in Fond du Lac County, Wisconsin is expected to begin commercial operation.
WPL expects the PSCW to issue a ruling on its CPCN application by the end of the year. WPL expects to file a Certificate of Need Application and a Siting Application with the Minnesota Public Utilities Commission (MPUC) later this month. A decision from the MPUC is expected in late 2008 or early 2009.
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