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Iberdrola Opens Texas Wind Farm, Receives Approval for Vermont Project

Texas already leads the nation in producing wind power, and now the states's newest wind farm, the 202-megawatt (MW) Penascal Wind Power Project developed by Iberdrola Renewables started producing electricity this week.

“The Peñascal Wind Power Project is a great example why Texas continues to be a leader in the world energy markets,” said Jerry Patterson, Commissioner of the Texas General Land Office. “Wind power isn’t growing in Texas because it’s an environmental fad; Texas leads the nation in wind power because it’s making money, and I’m here to support that.”

The Peñascal project uses 84 Mitsubishi turbines. The power generated will be delivered to customers of CPS Energy of San Antonio and the South Texas Energy Cooperative (STEC). Both CPS and STEC have 15-year agreements to purchase output from the Peñascal’s output.

In a related story, the Vermont Public Service Board last week, gave Iberdrola and its Deerfield Wind subsidiary the green light to continue development of a 30-MW wind farm in the Green Mountain National Forest.

The decision was handed down with some conditions attached, one of which requires that "most" of the power from the wind farm must be sold to Vermont utilities. The PSB didn't specify how much "most" would be, but it did specify that that Deerfield should enter into long-term contracts offering stable prices with Vermont power companies.

The towns of Readsboro and Searsburg, where the wind farm is set to be located, would be paid annually by Deerfield for hosting the wind turbines. Readsboro would receive US $154,000 while Searsburg would get $240,000.

Another condition to the decision states that should the wind facility produce less than 65 percent of its projected output for two consecutive years, a process of decommissioning would be initiated. This requirement falls to 50 percent of production if Deerfield signs long term contracts with Vermont utilities. Deerfield has 90 days to update the Public Service Department on contract deals.

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