Two large windfarms went into full operation in the middle of December, in the United States.JUNO BEACH, Florida, US, 2002-01-16 [SolarAccess.com] The King Mountain Clean Energy Center near Odessa, Texas has capacity of 278 MW, while the Stateline Clean Energy Center near Walla Walla, Washington along the border with Oregon, will add 263 MW to the generating capacity of FPL Energy, LLC, a subsidiary of FPL Group. The Florida-based company now owns 1,439 MW of wind power capacity at 24 windfarms in eight states: Iowa, Kansas, Texas, Minnesota, Wisconsin, Washington, Oregon and California. “Wind power is an important component of our nation’s move toward energy independence as we harness our natural resources for production of electricity,” says vice president Dean Gosselin. “It is a clean, renewable source of energy that can be sited, built and in operation much more rapidly than conventional fossil fuel facilities.” FPL Energy commissioned three other windfarms last year: the 160 MW Woodward Mountain facility, also near Odessa; the 112 MW Gray County site in Kansas; and the 30 MW windfarm at Monfort, Wisconsin. The company commissioned a total of 844 MW of wind power last year, more than double its prior capacity of renewables. “This has been a banner year for FPL Energy’s development of wind power throughout the central and western regions of the country,” says Gosselin. “We know there are many more opportunities for wind energy throughout the country and great support in many regions for new wind power facilities.” He expressed concern over the future of wind energy as a result of the expiration of the federal wind energy production tax credit on December 31. “Elimination of the federal production tax credit for wind power will negatively impact future construction of these important renewable energy power plants across the country,” he explains. “Many suppliers of wind energy components slow or close their production lines and even those who would like to move forward with wind projects will be unable to do so.” In addition to wind, FPL Energy generates electricity from solar, hydroelectric and natural gas at 73 facilities in 17 states. Wind represents 29 percent of the company’s generating portfolio, with 80 percent of its capacity provided by renewables or natural gas.