Ameren UE, a subsidiary of St. Louis-based Ameren Corp. (NYSE: AEE) (which operates utilities in Illinois and Missouri serving 3.4 million customers) has made corporate history by purchasing its first packet of wind power from clusters of wind turbines called “wind farms”.
The power will come from Horizon Wind Energy’s Pioneer Prairie Wind Farm, located about 50 miles north of Des Moines in Mitchell County, Iowa. This wind farm, slated for expansion, currently covers 10,000 acres and contains 62 Vestas V82 wind turbines producing 1.65 megawatts each. Horizon is an independent power producer that builds and operates 2,000 megawatts of wind energy in Iowa, Illinois, Kansas, Oklahoma, Texas, New York and Oregon.
The wind energy will be fed into the Midwest Independent System Operator, or MISO, the mid-continent portion of the nation’s energy grid – a group of regional transmission operators that includes: MISO MI, IN, IL, MO, IA, WI, MN, ND and Manitoba, CA); PJM (PA,VA,NJ,DE,MD, WV,OH,KY,MI,IN and IL); ISO-NE (CT, RI, VT, NH, MA and ME); SPP (KS, NM, TX, OK, AR, LA, MI and NE); and CAISO (California).
Ameren is a member of MISO, and the purchase fulfills the company’s commitment to add 100 megawatts of renewable capacity to its energy mix – a commitment driven not only by Waxman-Markey (the American Clean Energy and Security Act) but by Missouri’s Proposition C, which passed last fall, and a newer renewable energy standard (RES) currently on the floor of the Missouri House (HB 2127). This one would require utilities to get 10 percent of their electricity from renewable sources by 2010, and 20 percent by 2020. Ameren’s wind power energy would be delivered to Missouri.
Phase II of the Pioneer Prairie Wind Farm will reportedly deliver 102.3 megawatts. The entire project has an installed capacity of 300 megawatts. Beginning Sept. 1, Ameren will buy about one-third of that capacity under a 15-year power purchase agreement whose financials terms have not been revealed. Ameren’s purchase, approximately 102 megawatts, will deliver enough electricity to power about 26,000 households.
You can find a copy of Horizon's press release outlining the deal here [pdf]: Horizon Wind energy signs power purchase agreement with AmerenUE.
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