BP Starts Operations of Idaho's Largest Wind Farm
by Naureen S. Malik
NASDAQ, November 4, 2010
NEW YORK -- BP PLC and Ridgeline Energy LLC said Thursday that their 124.5 megawatt wind farm in Idaho--the state's largest--is operating at full commercial capacity.
The Goshen North Wind Farm is located 10 miles east of Idaho Falls in Bonneville County and will be able to power 37,000 homes annually. It is comprised of 83 wind turbines made General Electric Co. (GE).
Governor C.L. "Butch" Otter said in a statement, "Ridgeline Energy and BP Wind Energy are among those at the forefront of helping to achieve my goal of having 25 percent of Idaho's energy come from renewable sources by 2025."
Renewable energy requirements in states such as Idaho are supporting the development of wind and solar projects amid tough economic conditions. Wind development has fallen sharply this year, with just a third of generation installed compared to last year, according to a report Friday by the American Wind Association. Low natural-gas prices and weak power demand have made it less economical to construct other sources of electricity. As a result, it has become difficult in many areas for developers to secure power purchase agreements that would make these projects economical.
The Goshen wind farm, operated by BP but jointly owned with Ridgeline, has sold its output to Southern California Edison under a long-term power purchase agreement. The duration and terms haven't been made public.
This Idaho wind farm took six months to construct. It will be staffed by 10 to monitor and maintain the site. It is the first wind project for Diamond Generating Corp., a unit of Mitsubishi Corp.
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