Moline, Illinois [RenewableEnergyAccess.com] Barely a day after Congressional lawmakers passed the energy bill, which includes a two-year extension of the wind power tax credit, Deere & Company announced that they have made equity investments in several wind energy projects in the rural U.S. and has created a business unit to provide project development, debt financing and other services to those interested in harvesting the wind.“John Deere is especially well positioned to support our farm customers in this growing industry,” said Robert W. Lane, Deere & Company chairman and chief executive officer. “For generations, the world’s most productive farmers have used John Deere equipment to provide food to the world and now, through wind energy, the same farmers can help meet the growing demand for electricity.” Deere has invested in wind energy projects located in Minnesota and Texas, is considering projects in other states of the U.S. and has reviewed projects in other countries. The wind energy initiative, Lane said, is consistent with John Deere’s goal of helping its customers improve their profitability and productivity. Industry experts predict the amount of electricity generated by wind power will increase dramatically over the next 15 years. In the U.S., wind power produced less than 7,000 megawatts in 2004 but could reach more than 100,000 megawatts by 2020. Deere’s new wind energy business unit will be managed by John Deere Credit — a recognized leader in meeting the financing needs of its customers around the world. Deere also said it has no plans to manufacture wind turbines.