We Energies Wind Energy Project Begins Commercial Operation. We Energies’ Glacier Hills Wind Power, now the largest wind farm in Wisconsin, was placed into commercial service with 90 wind turbines.
Located in Columbia County, the 90 wind turbines have a demonstrated capacity of 162 megawatts and are capable of producing enough energy to power 45,000 homes. We Energies also operates the 88-turbine Blue Sky Green Field Wind Center in Fond du Lac County.
"The completion of Glacier Hills on time and on budget was achieved largely through the talents of Wisconsin companies and Wisconsin labor," said Gale Klappa, chairman, president and chief executive of Wisconsin Energy Corporation, the parent of We Energies.
Led by Wisconsin contractors Boldt Construction, Edgerton Contactors and Michels Corporation, crews erected turbine towers that were manufactured in Manitowoc by Broadwind, Inc. In total, more than 350,000 labor hours were devoted to the project since construction began in May 2010.
When all costs are finalized, the project will come in below the target of $363.7 million set by the Public Service Commission of Wisconsin. The Glacier Hills Wind Park consists of 90 Vestas turbines spread across 17,000 acres of farmland in Columbia County. Each turbine is capable of producing 1.8 megawatts of electricity.
"The successful commissioning of this project would not have been possible without the strong support and cooperation we’ve received from the communities of Randolph and Scott and from the officials in Columbia County," said Klappa.
In the weeks ahead, We Energies will work closely with the landowners in the area to ensure that proper restoration from construction activity is completed.
We Energies also is in the process of adding more renewable energy and diversifying its portfolio of renewable projects.
The company currently is building a 50-megawatt biomass plant in Rothschild, Wis. When the biomass-fueled plant is completed in 2013, We Energies will be in compliance with the state’s renewable energy standard, requiring utilities across the state to generate 10 percent of their retail energy sales from renewable sources by 2015.
The biomass project is expected to create more than 400 construction jobs and support approximately 150 permanent jobs related to the plant’s activities.
We Energies serves more than 1.1 million electric customers in Wisconsin and Michigan’s Upper Peninsula and more than 1 million natural gas customers in Wisconsin. We Energies is the trade name of Wisconsin Electric Power Company and Wisconsin Gas LLC, the principal utility subsidiaries of Wisconsin Energy Corporation (NYSE: WEC).
By José Santamarta, www.we-energies.com