Winds from the West
Western state and municipal legislative actions could lead to even greater acceptance of wind power. A new California law requires local and county officials in all but a few densely populated areas to enact ordinances favorable to the siting of small wind systems—generally about 60 ft. high—by July 1, 2002. Such systems could be installed by individual businesses to meet their own electricity needs.
Further up the coast, Seattle’s municipal utility, SCL, will be purchasing wind power from a 400-turbine development now being built at the state’s border with Oregon under a measure recently passed by Seattle’s city council. SCL has signed an agreement to buy the energy generated from up to 175 MW of installed capacity by August 2004.
Finally, a new wind farm, completed in December at Wallula Junction, Wash., is being called the largest in the Western U.S. Its developer, FPL Energy, LLC, Juno Beach, Fla., is the largest generator of wind-based electricity in the United States. The company says it is expecting to grow that portfolio over the next two years, adding 1,000 to 2,000 MW of installed capacity by the end of 2003.
From Pure Power, Summer 2002.