World’s largest wind farm planned for USA

US developer FPL Energy has announced plans to construct and operate a 300 MW wind farm along the Washington-Oregon border in the USA. The development will be the world’s largest wind farm and has been hailed by conservationists as a breakthrough in renewable energy.

FPL Energy, a subsidiary of Florida’s FPL Group, will build, own and operate the 450-turbine Stateline Wind Generating Project, while PacifiCorp Power Marketing Inc. (PPM) will purchase and market the entire output from the development phase for a 25-year period. Construction will begin in February 2001.

“It’s a spectacular breakthrough for northwest wind power and cause for celebration among friends of sustainable energy development everywhere,” said Ralph Cavanagh of the Natural Resources Defense Council.

The Stateline project will consist of 73 m-high windmills generating 200 MW in Washington and 100 MW in Oregon. PPM will market the power throughout the western US. The Bonneville Power Administration (BPA) and other utilities will supply hydropower resources to PPM to “shape” the variable wind energy, creating a reliable source of power for consumers.

“This is wind power on a grand scale,” said Terry Hudgens, PPM president.

Skanska invests in Brazilian hydro

Sweden’s Skanska BOT AB has invested around $15m in a new company created to build, own and operate the Ponte de Pedra hydropower project in Brazil.

Skanska’s Argentinean unit, Sade Skanska, together with Impreglio of Italy and Brazilian companies Servix and Inepar, will develop the 180 MW complex in Matto Grosso.

The consortium has received a concession from the Brazilian National Agency of Electric Energy (Aneel) to operate the power plant for 35 years.

Construction is due to start in spring 2001 and the plant will enter operation in 2004.

The $140m project is being financed with loans from the Brazilian development bank BNDES. An environmental impact assessment has been carried out, and the project has the approval of the Brazilian Ministry of the Environment.

Finance sealed for Mexican project

Alstom and US company Sithe Energies have received backing for the second phase of a 460 MW petroleum coke-fired power plant in Mexico. The project, at Tamuin in San Luis Potosi state, will receive backing from the Inter-American Development Bank, France’s Coface and the UK’s export credit agency, ECGD.

The $700m Termoelectrica Penoles plant is one of several projects in Mexico to have been farmed out to the private sector. It will supply power to one of the largest non-ferrous metallurgical complexes in Latin America, as well as to other facilities owned by Industrias Penoles, a refined silver producer.

Penoles is expected to improve the reliability of electricity supplies in northeastern Mexico.

Wind agreement for Argentina

Spanish companies Endesa and Elecnor have signed an agreement with Energias Argentinas SA (Enarsa) to develop 3000 MW of wind capacity in Argentina. The alliance has received the approval of the Argentine government and will see wind farms installed in Patagonia, Rio Negro, Chubut, Neuquen and Santa Cruz.

The strategic alliance has been signed by the companies’ wholly owned energy subsidiaries Enerfin – owned by Grupo Elecnor – and Endesa Cogeneracion y Renovables. Enarsa will initially develop 280 MW of capacity in Chubut and Neuquen on a turnkey basis using equipment supplied by Made, a subsidiary of Endesa.

The plans have the approval of the regional governments.

Pantellos open for business

Pantellos, the on-line utility supplies marketplace, began trading in January 2001 and has announced that it has signed up 12 new suppliers. The company, founded by 21 North American utility and energy companies, hailed the move as a new era in supply chain management.

The first transaction took place between Ohio-based Cinergy and Breton Safety, a San Francisco-based supplier of health, safety and environmental products. Companies can purchase supplies via Pantellos ranging from office supplies to equipment for maintenance activities.

“Utilities spend more than $130bn annually in the United States to plan, construct, repair and operate their plants and distribution systems,” said Pantellos CEO Graham Collins.

Pantellos was founded seven months ago to explore the opportunities presented by the Internet and e-commerce.