Shell WindEnergy Inc has launched its second major wind investment in the United States.HOUSTON, Texas (US) 2002-02-06 [SolarAccess.com] The wind energy operation of Shell Renewables has purchased and started commercial operation of the 80 MW Llano Estacado Wind Ranch at White Deer, near Amarillo, Texas. The project was developed by Cielo Wind Power of Austin, at a cost of US$30 million, and can generate enough electricity from 80 turbines to power 30,000 homes. There currently are 1,170 MW of installed wind generation in Texas, which ranks second among U.S. states in terms of wind behind North Dakota. “Wind energy is not only the fastest growing area of power generation world-wide but it is also one of the cleanest sources of energy,” says director David Jones. “We intend to explore additional opportunities in this important and growing area and will remain focused on the many attractive options the U.S. market presents for expanding Shell’s wind energy portfolio.” Cielo says it is proud of the project’s construction team, which completed site work in three months despite severe weather conditions in the Texas Panhandle, due to support from the City of White Deer, Carson County and local farmers. “The water savings are particularly important in this region and this purchase will allow Xcel Energy to avoid using 160 million gallons of water annually,” says the company’s Gary Gibson. Shell WindEnergy entered the U.S. market last November with the launch of Rock River I, a 50 MW wind facility in Wyoming. Currently, more than 1,000 MW of wind projects are under consideration by Shell in the United States and Europe.