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Wisconsin to become leader in alternative energy
Madison, WI - WE Energies announced Monday a 20-year renewable energy purchase agreement with two developers that will build three wind farms increasing the total amount of wind power produced in Wisconsin by 400%.
Under the agreement, the two developers, Navitas Energy, based in Minneapolis, and Midwest Wind Energy, LLC, based in Chicago, will provide their entire energy output from the three Wisconsin wind farms to WE Energies.
Although the wind farms will not be completed for another two years, Navitas Energy is developing two sites in Wisconsin - Blue Sky Wind Farm and Green Field Wind Farm. Midwest Wind Energy, LLC is working on a site in southeastern Wisconsin - Butler Ridge. The two Navitas Energy sites will produce about 80 megawatts (MW) of wind power each and the Midwest Wind Energy, LLC site will create about 54 MW. The total amount of wind power generated in Wisconsin will increase from 53 MW to 267 MW.
The wind turbines, similar to windmills, generate wind power. The wind that turns the turbines blades are connected to electric generators, that convert the energy from moving air into electrical energy.
Wind power is an important energy resource for several reasons. It has no emissions, it has little or no solid wastes, and there is less land disruption when compared to coal, natural gas or nuclear power plants. Wind power also has long-term price stability.
Chris Iglar, media representative for WE Energies, said it is expensive to build wind turbines, but once they are built the wind does not cost anything. We can look out 20 years and know how much it is going to cost, he said. It is going to cost the same now as it will in 20 years and thats nothing for the wind. It is price stable, which compared to some other fuel sources, that sure cant be said.
According to Iglar, once the wind farm construction is completed, Wisconsin will become the number one state east of the Mississippi in wind power generation. The benefits of environmental protection, long-term price stability and economic development make wind power an attractive and practical energy source for Wisconsin.
Jeff Anthony, manager of alternative energy programs for We Energies, said, Were delighted to have reached an agreement with these two wind power developers, which will enable us to provide more than 60,000 homes with electricity from wind resources. "Once again, Wisconsin will be number one in installed wind power generation capacity east of the Mississippi River, said Anthony. We Energies believes that providing our customers with electricity derived from a variety of generation sources makes good sense.
Iglar said that WE Energies is committed to increasing their use of renewable energy. We believe that renewable energy can and must play an increasing role in the nations renewable energy mix, he said. Wind energy is a prime example of the fastest growing renewable energy.
Dick Grigg, president of WE Generation, the electric generation arm of WE Energies, said while WE Energies still needs to build more traditional energy plants in Wisconsin, wind farms will play a larger role in the coming years.
Current technology will not allow wind to replace traditional energy sources, according to Iglar. Who knows what could happen down the pipe, but we dont see that happening in the near future, he said. We are very pleased to make these small steps and grow wind power.
Alexis Johnson is a Madison, Wisconsin based writer and regular contributor to the Wisconsin Technology Network. Alexis can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.