1/29/09 Columbia County's "Country Cousin" wind project has no plans to buy American

Wisconsin regulators have approved plans to startup company E Wind to build a 30 megawatt wind farm northeaset of the State Capial of Madison at a cost of $60 million dollars. Talks are underway to buy 18 turbines fro Hyundai Heavy Industries, E-wind tells Recharge.

If the deal is finalized, it would represent the largest known US order thus far for South Korea’s Hyundai Heavy.

Wes Slaymaker, who heads a company that provides engineering services for the wind industry and is a partner in E Wind, says the next project step is to negotiate a long-term power purchase agreement with a utility.

“This is our biggest challenge because electricity prices and demand are soft,” he says in a telephone interview. “Utilities are not excited about buying more power at the moment.”

Even so, they must comply with Wisconsin’s renewable portfolio standard that requires publicly-held utilities to produce 10% of their electricity from renewable energy sources by 2015.

Governor Jim Doyle is also calling on lawmakers to pass his proposed Green Energy Jobs Act, which would update the RPS to 25% by 2025.

“I think the bill has a decent chance of getting passed,” says Slaymaker.

Once a power purchase agreement is in place, Slaymaker believes he and two local partners will obtain project financing. One of them owns part of the 1,800 acres where the turbines will be sited near the town of Randolph.

Slaymaker describes the proposed wind farm as a community project because it has local owners and operators, and most of the investment for site preparation and wind project development will stay in the region.

“This type of community wind project, while common in Minnesota, is unique to Wisconsin,” says Slaymaker.

Posted on Friday, January 29, 2010 at 07:25PM by Registered CommenterThe BPRC Research Nerd | CommentsPost a Comment

How many is too many? Two wind farms have been approved, another developer seeking fortune in rural Columbia county

Home in a Wisconsin wind farm, Fond du Lac County. Photo by Gerry MeyerAnother county wind farm? Feasibility tests in south promising so far

Portage Daily Register

Posted on Friday, January 29, 2010 at 11:10AM by Registered CommenterThe BPRC Research Nerd | CommentsPost a Comment