Wednesday, August 30, 2006

AWEA Wind Power Finance & Investment Workshop

AWEA Wind Power Finance & Investment Workshop
October 4 - 5, 2006
New York, New York

The American Wind Energy Association (AWEA) is pleased to announce additional details for the AWEA Wind Power Finance & Investment Workshop taking place October 4 - 5, 2006 in New York, NY. This two-day workshop is the premier financing workshop in the industry, designed to delineate the state-of-the-art financial structures available in the market today, and to demonstrate the issues project developers and financiers are able to solve through thoughtful presentations and amicable negotiations. The workshop will survey the advantages associated with tax credit monetization transactions and explore the ins-and-outs of partnership flip structures. This is AWEA's third event in New York City, and promises to bring a detailed look at wind project financing and investment while remaining interesting, thought-provoking, and controversial.

Why Attend?

Has the time arrived for merchant wind? Is a merchant wind deal financiable? What about a power purchase agreement - do you still need one? These and many more questions will be examined and answered by a panel of experts, populated by long-term practitioners in renewable energy finance in general and wind power finance in particular.

Have you ever wished you could watch a financing negotiation unfold - without the responsibility for the outcome? Well, we are staging just such an event as part of our two-day workshop. Consider a Greenfield wind power generation project that is ready for construction / long-term financing. A panel of developers will present their case to a panel of lenders and the negotiations will begin! Watch as the key points reveal themselves and both sides work to close the deal while keeping the parameters "market." Will it close?

Come to the AWEA Wind Power Finance & Investment Workshop to find out!

Workshop Topics

The Future of Wind Energy Financing
CFOs and General Counsels Panel
Environmental Update
Equity Panel
Real Estate Update
Legislative Outlook
Regulatory Update
Advisers Panel
Debt Panel
Mock Debt Negotiation
Monetization Mock Negotiation
Wind Studies
Tax Update
Other Capital Sources

Who Should Attend?

Financial Service Firms
Project Finance Banks
Portfolio Managers
Fund Managers
Institutional Investors
Venture Capitalists
Foundation Managers
Investment Banks
Project Developers
Wind Project Operators
Law Firms
Insurance Companies
Construction / Transportation Companies
Turbine Equipment Suppliers
Service Providers
Academic Institutions
Government Agencies

More information, including more detailed program content, registration costs, online registration, and housing and travel details, please visit Speakers to be announced shortly.

Reserve your hotel room at the New York Marriott Financial Center by September 18th to receive the discounted AWEA room rate of $269. Call (800) 228-9290 and indicate you are with the American Wind Energy Association.



Conference & Education Department
1101 14TH Street NW, 12th Floor
Washington, DC 20005
Phone: (202) 383-2512
Fax: (202) 383-2505

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

Bureau of Land Management Announces Final Approval of Wind Energy Project in Idaho

Bureau of Land Management Announces Final Approval of Wind Energy Project in Idaho
Kathleen Clarke, Director of the Bureau of Land Management, today announced completion of an environmental review of the largest wind energy project on Federal land in the last 25 years. Approval of the Record of Decision (ROD) and right-of-way grant for the Cotterel Wind Power Project on 4,500 acres of BLM-managed public land clears the way for the installation of up to 98 turbines on a ridge in south-central Idaho five miles east of Albion in Cassia County.

The 200 megawatt (MW) project will generate enough electricity to supply approximately 50,000 homes. Promoting wind energy is a high priority for the Bureau in its efforts to enhance energy security by expanding opportunities for developing alternative, domestic sources.

“This project represents the kind of diversification of America’s energy supply that is a key component of President Bush’s energy policy,” Clarke said. “We are committed to encouraging wind energy production on public lands, while at the same time minimizing environmental impacts.”

The Cotterel right-of-way grant includes important measures for mitigating the effects of wind generation on wildlife resources. Best Management Practices (BMPs), offsite mitigation, and adaptive management strategies will be incorporated into the project to address impacts to sage-grouse, raptors, bats, and migratory birds. An interagency team of Federal and state biologists developed the mitigation plan and will continue to monitor wildlife impacts. Power generated from the project will be distributed through the existing regional power grid.

The Cotterel project will also help meet the goal Congress set in Section 211 of the Energy Policy Act of 2005, which calls on the Secretary of the Interior to seek (by 2015) to approve projects on Federal lands generating at least 10,000 MW of electricity from non-hydropower renewable sources.

The project is expected to bring economic benefits to the local area. Construction activity is projected to generate up to $12.5 million in local sales tax revenue and more than half a million dollars annually once operations are fully underway. Cassia County will also benefit from property taxes on the project’s $197 million in property improvements.

Wind energy is the world’s fastest-growing energy source. Technological advances in the design and siting of turbines have increased their generating capacity while continuing to reduce their impact on the environment. Because there are no emissions involved, wind energy’s environmental impact per unit of electricity generated is significantly lower than that of more common forms of electricity generation.

In addition, wind energy is not subject to the same price fluctuations as natural gas and oil. Electricity production from wind energy in the U.S. is expected to increase six-fold by 2020. By the end of 2006, the production of electric power using wind is projected to conserve more than 500 million cubic feet of natural gas per day nationwide, relieving demand pressures on that supply of energy.

BLM-managed lands in nine Western States have the potential to generate an estimated 3,200 MW of wind energy – enough to provide electric power for nearly one million homes. Public lands administered by the Interior Department produce approximately five percent of the wind energy, one-half of the geothermal energy, and 17 percent of the hydropower generated in the United States.

Monday, August 21, 2006

Wind farms to increase in Australia

Wind farms to increase in Australia

August 20, 2006

The officials in Victoria, Australia have approved the construction of a wind farm in the southwest Mount Gellibrand area.

The AUD380 million ($228.9 million) project involves building 116 giant turbines and will produce enough power for 133,000 homes.

Victoria Planning Minister Rob Hulls said the project will generate more power than any other in the state.

This is great for the environment and great for the economy, he told a news conference.

He added that the government of Victoria is on track to meet renewable energy targets.

That means ensuring that 10 percent of electricity, 10 percent of power is generated from renewable energy over the next 10 years and we believe that will mean about AUD 2 billion ($1.5 billion) worth of investment, Hulls said.

Copyright 2006 by United Press International

Friday, August 18, 2006

U.S. Wind Power Reaches 10-Gigawatt Milestone

U.S. Wind Power Reaches 10-Gigawatt Milestone
August 14, 2006

Wind turbines at the Searsburg Wind facility in Vermont supply power to about 2,000 homes in the state.

Washington, DC [] As the U.S. wind energy industry stayed on pace for another record year, Texas for the first time supplanted historic leader California as the top state in cumulative wind power capacity, according to the American Wind Energy Association's (AWEA) Second Quarter Market Report.

AWEA forecasts that the industry remains on track to install more than 3,000 MW of new wind capacity, which would decisively eclipse the previous record of 2,431 MW set in 2005. The report also shows that U.S. developers brought online a capacity total of 822 megawatts (MW) in the first half of the year. With the strong growth, the U.S.'s cumulative wind power capacity surged to 9,971 MW -- within close striking distance of the 10-gigawatt (10,000-MW) milestone. (For a listing of projects completed and under construction, see link below.)

A recent update from AWEA shows the industry has since surpassed the 10-gigawatt mark. The news in Texas, however, comes as perhaps a greater surprise as California had historically been the strongest state market, by far.

Texas 's cumulative total now stands at 2,370 MW of capacity -- enough to power more than 600,000 average American homes -- followed by California's 2,323 MW. Texas edged ahead of California by adding a total of 375 MW, about half of the total amount installed in the country since the beginning of the year.

It's a historic moment. California has led the nation in installed wind capacity uninterruptedly for nearly 25 years, ever since the first wind farms were built there in late 1981, and at one time the Golden State was host to more than 80 percent of the wind capacity in the entire world. However, energy and electricity prices tanked during the global oil glut of the 1980s, putting California's wind power boom on hold.

But Texas by no means has been the lone state busy developing wind power projects. In fact, while Texas took the capacity crown from the perennial state leader, development activity in California has not exactly been dormant, with PPM Energy's (PPM) 150-MW Shiloh Wind Project in Solano County and the Sacramento Municipal Utility District's 24-MW project near Rio Vista coming online earlier in the year.

Developers continue their steady advance in project activity while the industry confronts a series of inevitable challenges, one being the interplay between wind turbines and military radar. At AWEA's annual conference, the WINDPOWER 2006 Conference & Exhibition in June, industry players gathered for a siting panel on military issues, an event that brought together stakeholders from all sides of the radar issue. At the session Lt. Col. William Crowe, chief of airspace for the U.S. Air Force, offered to serve as a point of contact for the industry as the various parties work through the challenges and concerns.

Meanwhile, the industry forges ahead, despite delays in some projects due to radar issues. AWEA forecasts that the industry remains on track to install more than 3,000 MW of new wind capacity, which would decisively eclipse the previous record of 2,431 MW set in 2005. The U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) estimates that slightly less than 10,000 MW of new natural gas plants will be brought online in 2006, and that less than 400 MW of new coal- and oil-fired generating plants will be added, making wind power second only to natural gas in new capacity and new power generation for the second year in a row.

With this robust climate serving as a backdrop, wind energy leaders are thinking both short- and long-term. At WINDPOWER 2006, AWEA, the U.S. Department of Energy, and National Renewable Energy Laboratory committed to develop an action plan focused on providing up to 20% of the nation's electricity from clean, renewable wind energy, the potential of which was highlighted in the Advanced Energy Initiative released by President George W. Bush in February. The process will solicit input from key stakeholders including environmental groups, utilities, policy planners, investors, educators, communities, and others, with the action plan being unveiled at the WINDPOWER 2007 Conference & Exhibition in Los Angeles, Calif., June 3-6, 2007.

To reach the 20% benchmark and for the strong industry growth to continue even in the short term, the federal production tax credit, which expires at the end of 2007, needs to be extended in a timely fashion before it expires; furthermore, a long-term extension is needed to allow wind energy businesses to operate and invest in a stable environment and to further reduce costs. Added transmission capacity will also be needed to ship large amounts of power from windy areas to market.

BP Makes Major Wind Power Investment

BP Makes Major Wind Power Investment
August 17, 2006

London, United Kingdom [] A large wind power investment by BP Alternative Energy's move on the wind power market was nearly obscured by recent operational problems and investor lawsuits over the forced shutdown of its Prudhoe Bay, Alaska oil operations.

"This purchase gives BP Alternative Energy immediate access to a large number of high quality wind development projects across the country..."

-- Steve Westwell, BP Alternative Energy, chief executive This week, BP acquired all the shares of Greenlight Energy, a US-based developer of wind power generation projects, for approximately $98 million (excluding working capital and tax adjustments).

Greenlight is a developer of large-scale wind energy projects across the USA. Founded in 2000 and based in Charlottesville, Virginia, the company has a portfolio of some 39 mature and early stage development projects across the USA with a potential total power generating capacity of 6.5GW. This portfolio contains a number of projects, which BP expects to be able to develop over the next five years.

The acquisition comes among a recent series of BP investments and commitments in the renewable energy realm. In July, BP Alternative Energy announced it had reached agreement with the wind project developer and turbine manufacturer Clipper Windpower to acquire a 50 percent stake in a 2 gigawatt (GW) wind development portfolio in the USA as well as an agreement for the supply of turbines with a generating capacity of up to 2.25 GW over the next five years.

"This purchase gives BP Alternative Energy immediate access to a large number of high quality wind development projects across the country, including a number of projects we expect to be able to develop over the next few years," said Steve Westwell, chief executive of BP Alternative Energy. "We look forward to working closely with the Greenlight team, who have built the company over the past six years."

Sunday, August 13, 2006

Shell WindEnergy and Ulupalakua Ranch Announce Plans for New Maui Wind Farm

Shell WindEnergy and Ulupalakua Ranch Announce Plans for New Maui Wind Farm
Friday June 30, 7:00 pm ET
Hawaiian Electric Companies Welcome Shell WindEnergy to Hawaii

HOUSTON, June 30 /PRNewswire/ -- Shell WindEnergy Inc. (Shell) today announced plans to develop its first wind farm in the State of Hawaii. The project's first phase may provide up to 40 MW of wind power. If approved, the Auwahi wind project will provide wind-generated electricity for thousands of homes on Maui.

Shell plans to develop the Auwahi wind project on Maui's Ulupalakua Ranch. The turbines would stand in a remote corner of the 20,000-acre ranch. The site was chosen because of its exceptionally strong winds and because it was felt that there would be minimal visual impact.

The project may also combine wind and hydroelectric power. Pumped hydro storage technology could store power from the wind turbines during off-peak periods, which could then be used to help meet peak demand. The concept of integrating this wind project with pumped hydro storage was advocated by Renewable Hawaii Inc., a subsidiary of Hawaiian Electric Company.

Today's joint announcement by Shell and Ulupalakua Ranch was welcomed by Hawaiian Electric Company and Renewable Hawaii Inc.

Hawaii pays among the highest utility rates in the United States and is seeking to produce more power from renewable sources. When the Auwahi wind project is in operation -- the first phase is expected to be completed by 2008, subject to planning permission -- close to 20% of Maui's energy could come from wind turbines. The total project is expected to cost more than $200 million and take from three to five years to complete.

"This is great news for Ulupalakua Ranch, Maui and Hawaii," said Hawaii Governor Linda Lingle, a former mayor of Maui County. "It is an important step toward reducing Hawaii's dependence on imported fossil fuel and meeting our goal of having 20 percent of our energy come from renewable sources by the year 2020. Our thanks go to Ulupalakua Ranch, the Hawaiian Electric companies and especially to Shell WindEnergy for its confidence in Hawaii's potential for renewable energy."

John Hofmeister, president of Shell Oil Company, said he hoped Auwahi would be the first of several renewable energy projects involving Shell in Hawaii. "We are proud to be a part of this effort," he said. "Shell has a strong commitment to renewables, including wind energy. Shell has already demonstrated that modern, technologically-advanced wind farms work well on the Mainland and we believe developing wind farms in Hawaii could be a model for island communities around the world."

"This project and the arrival of Shell WindEnergy into the Hawaiian Islands represent a win all around, especially for Hawaii and our key goal of reducing our dependence on imported fossil fuels," said Mike May, president & CEO of Hawaiian Electric Company, the parent company of Maui Electric Company and Renewable Hawaii Inc. (RHI).

"Three years ago, Renewable Hawaii Inc. began looking for opportunities to bring utility-scale, commercially viable renewable energy projects to Hawaii. That work is now paying off. If not for RHI's persistent hard work, this would not be happening," May said.

Dr. Karl Stahlkopf, president of RHI, said, "RHI's request for proposals signaled to the world that we wanted renewable developers to come to Hawaii and we were thrilled when Shell was one of the first to show an interest. We have enjoyed working with the great folks from Shell and look forward to many more years. They know their business, they are one of the biggest renewable players in the world and their interest in Hawaii is a strong sign of things to come," Stahlkopf said.

"This is a great opportunity for up-country Maui," said Sumner Erdman, president of Ulupalakua Ranch, Inc. "On the Mainland, wind energy has offered an economic boost to many ranches and farms and now this is happening here. This deal will provide income for the ranch to help us continue our diversification in an environmentally friendly way.

"The agreement will allow us to keep the paniolo (Hawaiian cowboy) culture alive and keep ranch land open and in agriculture rather than in urban development. And we will be careful to respect the rich Native Hawaiian cultural history of the area, and the environmental and other concerns of our friends and neighbors on Maui," Erdman said.

Shell is currently applying for permits to set up meteorological monitoring towers on the site to measure the available wind resource.

Shell Oil Company, including its consolidated companies and its share in equity companies, is one of America's leading oil and natural gas producers, natural gas marketers, gasoline marketers and petrochemical manufacturers. Shell, a leading oil and gas producer in the deepwater Gulf of Mexico, is a recognized pioneer in oil and gas exploration and production technology. Shell Oil Company is an affiliate of the Shell Group, a global group of energy and petrochemical companies, employing approximately 109,000 people and operating in more than 140 countries and territories.

Wednesday, August 09, 2006

Global Marine Begins Work on Pioneering UK Wind Energy Project

Global Marine Begins Work on Pioneering UK Wind Energy Project
August 4, 2006

Chelmsford, United Kingdom [] Global Marine Systems Limited has begun subsea cable installation work on the Beatrice Wind Farm Demonstrator Project (Beatrice Project), a flagship project for offshore wind energy development, states the release. The initial project will use two wind turbines 25 kilometers off the east coast of Scotland to test the viability of the Beatrice Oil Field as a future site for a commercial deep-water wind farm.

Global Marine's experience in the renewable energy sector includes working on the Kentish Flats offshore wind farm in summer 2005; Horns Rev, the world's largest offshore wind farm in 2002; and wind farms at Blyth Northumberland in 2000. Global Marine partnered with Talisman Energy (UK) Limited, Scottish & Southern Energy and the Department of Trade and Industry on the project.

It is hoped the Beatrice Project will help in addressing the fact that up to one third of the UK's oil and gas generating capacity will reach the end of its life over the next 20 years, as reported in July's Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) Energy Review. The DTI's strategy is to increase the proportion of electricity generated from renewables to 20% -- a five-fold increase from today's level.

"Beatrice is an important project involving industry, academia and government collaboration which we are pleased to be part of as Global Marine continues to diversify its core telecom cable installation experience into other sectors, such as renewable energy," said Ian Gaitch, Renewable Energy Manager at Global Marine.

Using its Cable Ship Sovereign, Global Marine will install two main cables, each comprising a power and fiber optic cable, to connect the two 5-megawatt (MW) turbines to Talisman's Beatrice Alpha oil platform. The cable installation will enable Talisman to power Beatrice Alpha using energy generated from the turbines and also remotely control and monitor certain aspects of the turbines' performance from the oil platform, such as altering blade pitch and sending back turbine performance data for analysis.

"Global Marine has a significant track record in providing cable installation to the renewable energy sector which, when coupled with their industry leading expertise and technology, made them a natural partner of choice for this project," said Allan MacAskill, Wind Farm Project Director at Talisman Energy.

Global Marine's experience in the renewable energy sector includes working on the Kentish Flats offshore wind farm in summer 2005; Horns Rev, the world's largest offshore wind farm in 2002 and wind farms at Blyth Northumberland in 2000.

Wednesday, August 02, 2006

Plans Announced for Belgium's Largest Offshore Wind Farm

Plans Announced for Belgium's Largest Offshore Wind Farm
July 20, 2006

The offshore wind farm at Kentish Flats in the UK undergoes construction using a specialized construction ship. A similar offshore wind farm will be constructed off the coast of Belgium.

Utrecht, Belgium [] Belwind, part of the Econcern group, plans to build an offshore wind farm on Bligh Bank, 46 kilometers from the Belgian port of Oostende. With 66 five-megawatt (MW) wind turbines, the 330 MW project represents an investment of Euro 800 million [US$1 billion].

"After receiving the concession from the Federal Ministry of Energy, we will need permits from the Federal Ministry of the North Sea. In the most favorable situation, we would start building in 2009, and the wind farm would become operational in 2010."

-- Frank Coenen, Belwind Director "[The Bligh Bank project] is our largest project to date, and will also be one of Belgium's biggest sustainable energy investments," said Dirk Berkhout, member of the Econcern board, one of the project partners. "It's not possible to undertake such a project on your own, so to ensure it becomes a success we'll be engaging the right partners at the right time."

To develop the offshore wind farm Bligh Bank, Belwind was founded by Econcern, a European Top 500 growth company whose mission is to ensure 'a sustainable energy supply for everyone.' The Econcern group comprises Ecofys, Ecostream, Evelop and Ecoventures; together these companies deliver projects, products and services for a sustainable energy supply.

The Evelop subsidiary currently holds a wind-energy project portfolio of some 4,000 MW. This includes the Q7 offshore wind project (120 MW) in the Netherlands and the Sheringham Shoal project (315 MW) in the United Kingdom.

Belwind's application for approval to build a wind farm on Bligh Bank was submitted in April 2006. The turbines will be placed on the shoal, where the sea reaches depths of 20-35 meters. The site is located even further offshore than those of C-Power and Eldepasco, two wind projects whose approvals already have been granted.

As Belwind Director Frank Coenen explains, various phases need to be completed before the wind farm Bligh Bank can become operational:

"After receiving the concession from the Federal Ministry of Energy, we will need permits from the Federal Ministry of the North Sea. In the most favorable situation, we would start building in 2009, and the wind farm would become operational in 2010."

U.S. Senators Flex Muscles on Wind Power, Radar Issue

U.S. Senators Flex Muscles on Wind Power, Radar Issue
July 28, 2006

Senators Durbin and Obama are exercising their congressional power to try and speed up a solution to the radar / wind interaction issue that has resulted in putting many wind projects on hold.

Washington, DC [] U.S. Senators Barack Obama (D-IL) and Dick Durbin (D-IL) announced that they will put a hold on the nomination of Andrew Steinberg to be Assistant Secretary for Aviation and International Affairs until the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) issues a conclusive determination as to whether the operation of wind farms under construction in the Midwest will interfere with radar systems. A hold has the effect of blocking a nomination.

"Wind farms are an important part of our ongoing efforts to make the United States more energy independent, which is why the FAA needs to immediately clarify its position so that investors feel comfortable putting their money into these projects and construction crews can get to work."

-- U.S. Senator Barack Obama (D-IL) "The Administration's promised response on windmill construction is long overdue. It is time for a straight answer," said Durbin. "Windmills have become an important source of clean alternative energy throughout the country and are particularly important in the Midwest, which has more cumulative wind energy potential than any other area in the country. If there are real problems, we should find ways to mitigate, reduce or eliminate them, but our wind farm owners deserve an answer today."

The 2006 Defense Authorization Act called for the Department of Defense (DOD) to submit a report to Congress on the effects of windmill farms on military readiness. In particular, the report sought to determine whether wind farms could interfere with military radar.

On March 21, 2006, DOD and the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) issued a joint interim policy on the proposed windmill locations that states, "The DOD/DHS Long Range Radar Joint Program Office Interim Policy is to contest any establishment of windmill farms within radar line of site of the National Air Defense and Homeland Security Radars."

The Midwest Regional Office of the FAA sent "notice of presumed hazard" letters to wind farm sites that they had determined are in the line of site. The FAA defined "in the line of site" as any windmill within a 60-mile radius of a radar center or radar tower.

By this definition, much of the nation is now in the radar line of site, and this interim policy has had a sweeping effect that has stalled or stopped the development of wind energy facilities across the country, including more than a dozen in the Midwest.

Senators Obama and Durbin said they will block Mr. Steinberg's nomination until the FAA works with DOD to clarify whether these sites will be able to operate. Without this certainty, potential investors will fear the loss of their resources.

"While I take very seriously any concerns that these structures could interfere with military readiness, I also believe that with mounting instability in the Middle East and energy prices at record levels, we must begin investing in alternative energy sources today," said Sen. Obama. "Wind farms are an important part of our ongoing efforts to make the United States more energy independent, which is why the FAA needs to immediately clarify its position so that investors feel comfortable putting their money into these projects and construction crews can get to work."

One of the stalled projects is located in Bloomington, Illinois. If completed, the wind farm would be the largest source of wind energy in the nation, generating enough power to serve an estimated 120,000 Chicago-area homes.

On June 2, 2006, Senators Durbin, Obama, Russ Feingold (D-WI), Herb Kohl (D-WI), Kent Conrad (D-ND) and Byron Dorgan (D-ND) wrote letters to officials at DOD and FAA voicing their support for the responsible development of wind power.

New Wind Power Project Destined for Iowa

New Wind Power Project Destined for Iowa
July 31, 2006

Des Moines, Iowa [] Most renewable energy news coming out of Iowa these days is on the ethanol front, but this week enXco Development Corporation and Mid American Energy Company signed an agreement to develop and construct a 123-megawatt (MW) wind facility located in Pocahontas County, North central Iowa. Construction of this project is scheduled to begin later this year and is scheduled to be completed prior to the end of 2007.

"We're scheduled to have the project in Carroll and Crawford counties online by the end of this year, and construction is expected to get underway at the Pocahontas County site later this year."

-- Tom Budler, MidAmerican Energy, wind project manager In April 2006, MidAmerican announced a 99-MW wind project in Crawford and Carroll counties in west central Iowa following Iowa Utilities Board approval of the company's plan to build up to 545 MW of new wind-powered electric generation in Iowa before the end of 2007.

"We're pleased that construction is underway at the project in Carroll and Crawford counties," said Tom Budler, MidAmerican Energy's wind project manager. "We're scheduled to have the project in Carroll and Crawford counties online by the end of this year, and construction is expected to get underway at the Pocahontas County site later this year."

The ultimate size of MidAmerican Energy's 2006-2007 wind expansion project, its overall cost and possible additional locations have not been finalized, but electric rates -- the cost per kilowatt hour of electricity -- in Iowa for MidAmerican customers will remain at current levels through at least 2010 pursuant to the Iowa Utilities Board order approving the project. The last time MidAmerican's customers experienced an electric rate increase was 1995.

The 123-MW wind facility site in Pocahontas County will be developed and constructed by enXco Development Corporation and will use 82 GE Energy 1.5-MW wind turbines.

Invenergy Wind Development Iowa LLC is constructing the 99-megawatt wind facility in Carroll and Crawford counties that will use 66 GE Energy 1.5-MW wind turbines.

MidAmerican currently owns and operates 360.5 MW of wind energy facilities in northwest and north central Iowa that have the capability to produce enough electricity to power 100,000 homes.

Tuesday, August 01, 2006

Vail Resorts Chooses Wind Power for 100% Of Electricity Use

Vail Resorts Chooses Wind Power for 100% Of Electricity Use - Becomes Second Largest Corporate Wind Power Purchaser In U.S.
Tuesday August 1, 12:00 pm ET
Vail Resorts to provide free lift tickets to guests who purchase wind power for their family's homes

DENVER, Aug. 1 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- Vail Resorts Inc. (NYSE: MTN - News) announced today that the Company will offset 100 percent of its energy use by purchasing nearly 152,000 megawatt-hours of wind energy for its five mountain resorts, its lodging properties including RockResorts and Grand Teton Lodge Company, all of its 125 retail locations (operated through Specialty Sports Venture) and its new corporate headquarters in Broomfield, Colo. By purchasing renewable energy credits equal to the Company's entire electricity use, Vail Resorts becomes the second largest purchaser of wind power of all corporations in the United States.

Vail Resorts announced this initiative as part of the Company's ongoing environmental efforts. Vail Resorts' commitment to clean and renewable wind power will avoid over 211 million pounds of carbon dioxide emissions every year, which is equivalent to taking 18,000 cars off the road or planting over 27,000 acres of trees, according to the Environmental Protection Agency.

"Our core mission is to provide extraordinary vacation experiences in spectacular mountain settings," said Rob Katz, chief executive officer of Vail Resorts. "By embracing wind power as a clean and renewable source for 100 percent of our company-wide electricity use, we want to reinforce our commitment to the natural environment in which we operate and be a leader on this critical effort within the travel industry."

Vail Resorts is also asking its employees and guests to join in the Company's renewable energy efforts by launching a Ski With the Wind promotion. Under this new promotion, Vail Resorts is offering a free one-day ski lift ticket, valid at any of its five mountain resorts, to anyone who purchases wind power for their family's residence for one year with Renewable Choice Energy. The Company also announced that each of its executives has personally signed up to purchase wind power for their homes. More details about the Ski With the Wind promotion, including applicable restrictions, and Vail Resorts' wind power purchase program can be found at

Vail Resorts will work with Boulder, Colorado-based Renewable Choice Energy as their wind power provider. Renewable Choice Energy is a leading national provider building the market for clean and renewable sources of energy.

Since it is physically impossible to deliver electricity straight from a wind farm to Vail Resorts, renewable energy credits make purchasing wind power possible. Wind energy credits ensure that the amount of electricity Vail Resorts uses is replaced onto the power grid with wind power. Wind farms sell renewable energy credits to better compete with fossil fuels, allowing consumers to choose clean sources of electricity. Vail Resorts' purchase is significantly contributing to the growth of wind power across the United States.

"Renewable Choice Energy is proud to be working with an environmental leader like Vail Resorts to make this landmark wind power purchase possible," said Quayle Hodek, Renewable Choice Energy chief executive officer.

"Vail Resorts' commitment is the second largest corporate purchase of wind power in the country," said Matt Clouse, program director of EPA's Green Power Partnership. "EPA applauds Vail Resorts for their environmental leadership with this green power purchase. We hope their commitment will encourage others in the travel and hospitality industry to also embrace clean, renewable sources of energy that further reduce the risks associated with climate change."

Vail Resorts' long-standing dedication to environmental stewardship includes initiatives in energy and water conservation, water quality management, waste reduction and recycling, air and visual quality, wildlife habitat management, and education and outreach.

About Vail Resorts

Vail Resorts, Inc. is the leading mountain resort operator in the United States. The Company's subsidiaries operate the mountain resorts of Vail, Beaver Creek, Breckenridge and Keystone in Colorado, Heavenly in California and Nevada, and the Grand Teton Lodge Company in Jackson Hole, Wyo. The Company's subsidiary, RockResorts, a luxury resort hotel company, manages casually elegant properties across the United States. Vail Resorts Development Company is the real estate planning, development and construction subsidiary of Vail Resorts, Inc. Vail Resorts is a publicly held company traded on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE: MTN - News). The Vail Resorts company website is and consumer website is

About Renewable Choice Energy

Based in Boulder, Colo., Renewable Choice Energy ( is a leading national provider and marketer of wind power. Renewable Choice plays an integral role in connecting wind power producers with the wind power consumer. Renewable Choice Energy is certified to sell wind energy credits anywhere in the United States and has a diverse customer base that includes Fortune 500 companies, retailers, manufacturers, cities, universities and residential consumers. As a pioneer in wind power marketing, Renewable Choice Energy has helped develop many industry standards and best practices, and is the leading supplier to LEED certified green building projects. Renewable Choice Energy does not just serve existing demand for wind power, but actively grows the potential market for wind power with innovative marketing strategies.

About the U.S. EPA Green Power Partnership

The Green Power Partnership ( is an EPA voluntary program working to standardize green power procurement as part of best practice environmental management. Partners in the program purchase green power for a specified minimum portion of their electricity needs in return for EPA technical assistance and public recognition. The Green Power Partnership has more than 600 Partners including Fortune 500 companies, government agencies, trade associations and universities -- collectively purchasing over 4 billion kilowatt hours of green power annually.

Source: Vail Resorts, Inc.