Nevada Power Co. announced Thursday that it signed an agreement for its largest ever commitment to wind power generation in Southern Nevada.NYE COUNTY, Nevada 2002-03-04 [SolarAccess.com] The deal, struck with MNS Wind Co., is awaiting state regulatory approval for power from an 85 MW wind farm of 57 wind turbines at the Nevada Test Site. The project has the capability of producing enough clean energy to serve a community of approximately 50,000 people. Construction is expected to begin this summer so the facility could begin operation by December 2003. MNS Wind would be the first wind company to deliver power to Nevada through a power purchase agreement with Nevada Power. The utility will purchase all of the power generated at the Shoshone Wind Farm in the Nye County portion of the test site for 17 years with an option to extend the contract for eight more years. The power plant developer is a 50/50 joint venture between Global Renewable Energy Partners, a wholly owned subsidiary of NEG Micon A/S and one of the world’s largest wind turbine manufacturers and Siemens Energy and Automation, the project’s construction partner. “This initial effort is another step in our attempts to diversify our generation base with clean sources of energy and is consistent with our goal of providing safe and reliable service to our customers,” said Mark Ruelle, president of Nevada Power. Under a new law, Nevada Power must obtain 5 percent of its total energy sales from renewable power sources by 2003, increasing gradually to 15 percent by 2015. John Johansen, president of MNS Wind, said the agreement represents “an effective working partnership” between private businesses with the Department of Energy, which oversees the test site. Sen. Harry Reid, D-Nev., has been advocating the project. Reid and the department want to promote renewable energy deployment and utilization of the Nevada Test Site for commercial uses.