PEETZ, COLO. -– Colorado Gov. Bill Ritter today joined FPL Energy, Xcel Energy, Invenergy Wind and approximately 300 dignitaries and guests in Peetz, Colo., to break ground at the 400 megawatt wind generation facility that will be the nation’s second largest.
Gov. Ritter was joined by Mike O’Sullivan, senior vice president of Development at FPL Energy and Karen Hyde, managing director of Resource Planning and Acquisitions at Xcel Energy.
“Colorado’s Eastern Plains boast some of the best wind resources in the nation. With the addition of this new wind farm, Colorado increases its supply of clean, non-polluting energy sources. And little to no water is required to produce this power,” Ritter said. “The town of Peetz and Logan County welcome the new jobs and revenue from this project. It’s an excellent example of how Colorado benefits from the new energy economy.”
O’Sullivan said, “Colorado is taking an important leadership role in the growth of wind energy in the United States. The 400 megawatt Peetz Table Wind Energy Center will help the state realize its enormous potential for economic growth through the generation of clean, renewable energy.”
“Xcel Energy continues to add more wind power to our existing system. By purchasing the energy from this project and from three others, we will reach Colorado’s renewable energy standard seven years early,” said Hyde. “Wind power is a valuable part of our generation mix in Colorado. With the new renewable energy legislation requiring 20 percent of our power come from renewable energy, we feel that it will continue to grow in importance.”
When complete, the Peetz Table Wind Energy Center will be capable of generating enough electricity to power nearly 120,000 homes. Construction of the 267 General Electric wind turbines at the wind farm began this spring and is expected to be completed by the end of 2007. FPL Energy is also constructing a 78-mile-long transmission line to connect the Peetz Table facility to the power grid at Xcel Energy’s Pawnee substation near Brush.
FPL Energy and Invenergy Wind LLC jointly developed the 400 megawatt Peetz Table project. Earlier this year Invenergy Wind transferred control of its share to FPL Energy in exchange for a continuing economic interest in the project. FPL Energy, through its subsidiary, will operate the facility and will sell 100 percent of the output to Xcel Energy under a long-term contract.
The Peetz Table Wind Energy Center will have a significant impact on the local economy. At the height of construction, the project will employ between 300-350 workers. When complete, the Peetz Table Wind Energy Center will have about 20 full-time employees. The area will benefit from new tax revenues generated from the project; more than 140 landowners will receive lease payments for the life of the project; and, a significant amount of goods and services for facility operations will be purchased locally.
FPL Energy is a leading competitive energy supplier utilizing clean fuels such as natural gas, wind, solar, hydroelectric and nuclear to generate electricity. It is the nation’s leader in wind energy with 49 wind facilities in operation in 15 states. It is a subsidiary of FPL Group, (NYSE: FPL) one of the nation's largest providers of electricity-related services with annual revenues of nearly $16 billion. FPL Group's principal subsidiary is Florida Power & Light Company, one of the nation's largest electric utilities, serving 4.4 million customer accounts in Florida. Additional information is available at www.FPLEnergy.com, www.FPLGroup.com and www.FPL.com.
Invenergy Wind is a developer, owner and operator of utility-scale wind energy facilities. To date, the company has completed eight facilities, with a combined capacity of approximately 700 megawatts, into service. The company has an extensive pipeline of projects under contract and in development. Invenergy Wind is headquartered in Chicago and has professional staff located in its North American offices in Denver, Washington D.C, Toronto, Milwaukee, Tampa, and Austin, Texas. European offices are located in London (UK), Warsaw (Poland) and Athens (Greece).