Duke Energy Plans for Ninth Wind Farmby Staff
Dayton Business Journal, August 31, 2009
Duke Energy Corp. plans to build its ninth wind-power project, a 200-megawatt wind farm in Wyoming.
The operation, dubbed Top of the World Wind Power, will be constructed on 17,000 acres in Converse County, Wyo. It will produce energy for as many as 60,000 homes, said Duke Energy Generation Services. Duke provides electricity to customers in Warren and Butler counties.
The project is expected to go into commercial production in late 2010.
Charlotte, N.C.-based Duke (NYSE: DUK) has grown quickly in the wind business during the past year or so. The company had no wind capacity in 2006. By the end of this year, it expects to have 733 megawatts of wind capacity. That would be enough to make it the 10th-largest wind generator in the country.
"We've always believed Duke Energy could become a major player in the wind-power industry if we adhered to our strategy for organic as well as opportunistic growth," said DEGS President Wouter van Kempen. "Including Top of the World -- which will be our second-largest renewable-energy facility -- we'll have committed to four new wind projects totaling more than 360 megawatts this year alone."
DEGS does not build a project unless it has a long-term customer for the power it will generate. Rocky Mountain Power of Wyoming has signed a 20-year contract for the power from Top of the World.
That utility also has contracted to buy all the power produced by Duke's nearby 99-megawatt Campbell Hill Windpower Project. Campbell Hill is scheduled to start generating electricity by the end of the year.
DEGS is one of Duke's unregulated businesses, unconnected to its regulated utilities such as Duke Energy Carolinas. The utilities own no wind facilities, although Duke's Midwest franchise has contracted to buy some of its energy from wind producers.
Duke Energy includes the former Cincinnati Gas & Electric Co., Union Light, Heat and Power in Kentucky, and PSI Energy in Indiana. The company also operates Duke Power in the Carolinas.
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