MILWAUKEE, Wis., July 28, 2003 — We Energies signed 20-year power purchase agreements with two developers for the entire electricity output of three wind farms planned to be built in Wisconsin over the next two years.
The We Energies agreements will increase the total amount of wind power generated in the state of Wisconsin from 53 megawatts (MW) today to 267 MW – an increase of over 400%.
“Wind energy is going to play an increasing role in our generation portfolio over the next several years,” said Dick Grigg, president of We Generation, the electric generation arm of We Energies. “While we do need to build more traditional, baseload generating plants in Wisconsin, wind farms such as the ones our developer partners are planning will definitely play a larger role in the coming years.”
Navitas Energy, based in Minneapolis, is developing two sites in eastern Wisconsin and Midwest Wind Energy, LLC, based in Chicago, is developing a site in southeastern Wisconsin.
The two Navitas Energy sites – Blue Sky Wind Farm and Green Field Wind Farm – will produce about 80 MW of wind power each, and the Midwest Wind Energy site – Butler Ridge wind farm – will produce approximately 54 MW — for a total of 214 MW.
Due to ongoing negotiations at the local level, the developers are not prepared to announce specific wind farm locations at this time. We Energies expects the developers will publicly disclose the locations later this year.
The development of the wind farms is dependent on securing local permitting and agreements with landowners in the areas where the wind farms are proposed. The developers have already begun these processes and will continue their efforts in earnest now that the agreements have been reached by the developers and We Energies. In addition, the developers need to secure transmission service to enable the wind energy to flow to We Energies’ customers when construction of the wind turbines is completed in the next couple of years.
“We’re 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,” said Jeff Anthony, manager of alternative energy programs for We Energies. “Once again, Wisconsin will be number one in installed wind power generation capacity east of the Mississippi River. We Energies believes that providing our customers with electricity derived from a variety of generation sources makes good sense.”
Early last year, We Energies formed a Renewable Energy Collaborative to guide the company in achieving its renewable energy commitment. The planned wind farms were in response to a request for proposals recommended by the Collaborative and issued by We Energies in late 2002, soliciting developers to build approximately 200 MW of wind energy to serve We Energies’ customers in southeastern Wisconsin, the Fox Valley, and the Upper Peninsula of Michigan.
Other initiatives to develop additional renewable energy resources will be announced in the coming months as We Energies and the Renewable Energy Collaborative continue to implement their plan to significantly increase the amount of renewable energy in Wisconsin.
For those interested in supporting the expansion of renewable energy resources, We Energies has one of the largest and most successful green pricing programs of its kind in the country: the Energy For Tomorrow® renewable energy program. This industry-leading program provides a convenient way for customers to support the production of electricity from clean, renewable resources such as wind, water and organic materials. See the company’s Web site at www.we-energyfortomorrow.com or call 1-800-242-9137 for more information.
We Energies serves more than one million electric customers in Wisconsin and Michigan’s Upper Peninsula and more than 980,000 natural gas customers in Wisconsin. We Energies is the trade name of Wisconsin Electric Power Company and Wisconsin Gas Company, the principal utility subsidiaries of Wisconsin Energy Corporation (NYSE: WEC). Visit the We Energies Web site at www.we-energies.com. Learn more about Wisconsin Energy Corporation by visiting www.WisconsinEnergy.com.