FPL Energy Dedicates the World's Largest Wind Power Plant

October 25, 2006

The thing about wind power plants is that you can just keep adding to them. Take the Horse Hollow Wind Energy Center, located near Abilene, Texas: the American Wind Energy Association listed it as the largest wind project built in 2005, at 210 megawatts (MW), then credited it in July for growing to about 500 MW, helping Texas overtake California in total installed wind power capacity. On October 19th, FPL Energy held a dedication ceremony for the final expansion of the project, which has boosted its total generating capacity to 735 MW, making it the largest wind power facility in the world. The wind plant now consists of 291 1.5-MW wind turbines from General Electric and 130 2.3-MW wind turbines from Siemens and is spread across about 47,000 acres in Taylor and Nolan counties in central Texas. FPL Energy is currently the largest owner and operator of wind turbines in the world, operating more than 1,600 megawatts of wind power in Texas alone. See the FPL Energy press release.

While Texas rules the roost, Illinois plans to provide its own contribution to large-scale wind power plants. In early October, Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich announced $2.2 million in funding to Horizon Wind Energy, LLC for the construction of a 198-MW wind project in eastern McLean County. The facility is the first phase of a planned 400-MW wind power project, which is expected to be completed in late 2007. The project will create an estimated 250 construction jobs and up to 40 permanent jobs, and it will generate $1.2 million in county tax revenue while providing another $1.2 million in revenue for local farmers. The grant is being provided through the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity's (DCEO) Renewable Energy Resource Program. See the governor's press release.

Other large wind projects that have been completed lately include the 231-MW Maple Wind Ridge Farm in New York, a project partly owned by PPM Energy, and the 100.5-MW Spearville Wind Energy Facility, owned by Kansas City Power and Light (a subsidiary of Great Plains Energy) and located northeast of Dodge City, Kansas. See the press releases from PPM Energy and Great Plains Energy (PDF 18 KB). Download Adobe Reader.