Oil Giant Enters Market for U.S. Wind Energy

A major oil company has purchased a windfarm in the United States.

LONDON, England, UK, 2001-07-31 [SolarAccess.com] A major oil company has purchased a windfarm in the United States. The purchase of the 50 megawatt Rock River I windfarm in Wyoming is the first project of Shell WindEnergy Inc., the U.S. subsidiary of Amsterdam-based Shell Renewables. The facility will be developed by SeaWest WindPower Inc. and is the first major step toward achieving Shell’s strategy to move wind energy from experimental to commercial operation. The 50 Mitsubishi turbines will be erected this summer and should be generating by October. All electricity generated and emission reduction credits will be sold to PacifiCorp under a 20-year power purchase agreement. “Wind is the fastest growing area of energy generation world-wide with year on year growth of 25 percent, and the U.S. market alone will see 1,500 MW of new capacity installed this year,” says David Jones, director of Shell WindEnergy. “We aim in time to become a leading player in this sector with a portfolio comprising both on and offshore windfarms.” The space available for onshore turbines in the United States makes onshore development feasible in a greater number of locations than in Europe. The American Wind Energy Association estimates that Wyoming alone has the potential for 50,000 MW of wind capacity. The proven advanced generation technology for turbines “provides truly global players, such as Shell Renewables, an attractive entry into the wind energy market,” explains SeaWest chairman Chuck Davenport. More than 1,000 MW of wind energy projects currently are under development by Shell in the U.S., Europe and North.Africa. The company was awarded a site for 30 turbines off the coast of England in the recent licensing by the British government, and says it draws heavily on its experience in marine and drilling work to design and evaluate potential sites for wind energy development. Other projects supported by Shell include England’s first offshore facility at Blyth, and two turbines at its oil refinery in Harburg, Germany, close to the Hoche-Schaar harbour. It is working with Nuon to bid on a 100 MW wind park off the Dutch coast at Egmond and is involved in a consortium to propose 200 MW of capacity in two windfarms in Morocco near Tangiers and Tarfaya.
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