West Virginia Wind Project Moves Forward Thanks to PTC Extension

The planned Backbone Mountain wind power project in Tucker County, West Virginia is expected to be in operation by the end of this year, following President Bush’s signature on Saturday of the national economic stimulus package.

CHARLESTON, West Virginia 2002-03-14 [SolarAccess.com] A two-year extension of the wind power Production Tax Credit, which lapsed at the end of the last fiscal year, was included in the stimulus package. “We’re very happy the production credit was reauthorized,” said Sam Enfield of Atlantic Renewable Energy, the company planning the 43-turbine Backbone Mountain Wind Power project near Thomas. “With that and the power purchase agreement we negotiated in December, we’re ready to build.” The wind turbines should be trucked to the site by the end of August, then assembled and connected to a nearby Allegheny Power substation by the end of the year. Exelon Power Team signed an agreement with Enfield’s firm in December to purchase all output from the 65 MW Backbone Mountain wind farm for 20 years. When complete, the Tucker County project, situated on a seven mile long ridge, will be the biggest wind power project in the East. Plans, though, are for Atlantic Renewable Energy to build a wind farm in upstate New York next year with a capacity of up to 100 MW. Meanwhile, a competing firm, Mount Storm Wind Force, plans to build a wind farm with 166 turbines and three times the output of Backbone Mountain on a tract of reclaimed surface mines along the Grant-Tucker County line. “West Virginia is in a region with good wind power potential,” said Enfield. “Part of the state will be interconnected with the PJM- West Regional Transmission Organization, which is developing a spot market for wind power producers.” The Backbone Mountain project is expected to create more than 200 construction jobs, and a half-dozen full time jobs when construction is complete.

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