IRAAN, Texas, May 3, 2002 — Officials of American Electric Power and City Public Service (CPS), the municipal electric utility for San Antonio, Texas, were joined Friday by national, state and local officials as they dedicated the Desert Sky Wind Farm in West Texas.
Texas Gov. Rick Perry delivered the keynote address. Also participating was David Garman, assistant secretary, Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy, U.S. Department of Energy.
The newly named Desert Sky Wind Farm, previously known as Indian Mesa and Clear Sky, includes 107 wind turbines, each capable of generating 1.5 megawatts of electricity for a total project capacity of 160.5 megawatts, enough energy to supply 50,000 average American homes.
AEP owns the Desert Sky Wind Farm, which it purchased from Enron Wind on Dec. 29, 2001. CPS is buying all the power produced at the facility under long-term agreements with AEP. Enron Wind developed the site, built the turbines and will perform operations and maintenance services. Assets of Enron Wind are currently being acquired by the General Electric Company with an anticipated May 2002 closing for the transaction.
“The Desert Sky wind project is a terrific addition to this region and to the increasingly diverse energy landscape of Texas,” said E. Linn Draper Jr., chairman, president and chief executive officer of AEP. “Desert Sky demonstrates the new level of maturity the U.S. wind power industry is achieving, and just how important it is that we continue to encourage development of all of the renewable energy sources. Wind power will not replace the traditional power plant, but it is definitely being counted on for an essential contribution to our nation’s energy future. Where wind resources make it viable and economical, we believe wind power ought to be developed.
“Desert Sky is a new symbol of the Lone Star State’s intention to keep up its leadership in renewable energy development,” Draper said. “The visionary support of City Public Service of San Antonio, as the customer for all the power produced at this site, has much to do with the success of the project. We look forward to continuing a strong relationship with CPS.”
Other participants in Friday’s dedication were Milton Lee, general manager and CEO, City Public Service; Bob Gates, senior vice president, Enron Wind; state Sen. Frank Madla of San Antonio; state Rep. Pete Gallego of Alpine; and Pecos County Judge Delmon Hodges.
Desert Sky is AEP’s second major project in West Texas in the past year. AEP built the 150-megawatt Trent Mesa wind project in Nolan and Taylor Counties west of Abilene, beginning commercial operation last fall. AEP has monitored wind resources at about 30 sites in three states over the past eight years. The company identified the site for the Southwest Mesa Wind Farm near McCamey, from which AEP buys the energy. AEP has been operating turbines since 1995 at the Fort Davis project, the first utility-scale wind farm in the southwestern United States. Fort Davis also was the first project built under the Department of Energy’s Wind Turbine Verification Program.
The Desert Sky project is located near Iraan, Texas, in Pecos County, approximately 86 miles south of Midland and 266 miles west of San Antonio. For more information, visit the project Web site: http://www.desertskywind.com.
City Public Service of San Antonio, Texas, is one of the nation’s largest municipal utilities and serves more than 560,000 electric customers throughout its 1,566-square-mile service area, and about 302,000 natural gas customers in the urban San Antonio area. Purchased in 1942 by the City of San Antonio, CPS provides reliable, low-cost energy and energy-related services for San Antonio and the surrounding area. For more information, visit http://www.citypublicservice.com .
American Electric Power is a multinational energy company with a balanced portfolio of energy assets. AEP, the United States’ largest electricity generator, owns and operates more than 42,000 megawatts of generating capacity in the U.S. and select international markets. AEP is a wholesale energy marketer, ranking among North America’s top providers of wholesale power and natural gas with a growing wholesale presence in European markets. In addition to electricity generation, AEP owns and operates natural gas pipeline systems, natural gas storage, coal mines, and the fourth-largest inland barge company in the U.S. AEP is also one of the largest electric utilities in the United States, with almost 5 million customers linked to AEP’s wires. The company is based in Columbus, Ohio.
News releases and other information about AEP can be found on the World Wide Web at http://www.aep.com.