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BP remains a player in Wise County wind project

Even while British Petroleum (BP) is up to its corporate neck in the oil-stained waters of the Gulf of Mexico, the company's wind energy wing continues to explore the prospects of building wind farms in Wise and Tazewell counties along with its partner, Virginia Dominion Power.

WISE - Even while British Petroleum (BP) is up to its corporate neck in the oil-stained waters of the Gulf of Mexico, the company's wind energy wing continues to explore the prospects of building wind farms in Wise and Tazewell counties along with its partner, Virginia Dominion Power.

An area of Wise County along the Kentucky border of Black Mountain that stretches from Big Stone Gap to northwest of Pound has been under scrutiny by BP Wind Energy and Dominion for more than a year. If tests show the area can be a viable wind energy producer, the companies eye the possibility of erecting between 59 to 75 wind turbines that would produce between 80 megawatts and 150 megawatts of power each during peak production periods. The range of power output depends on types and sizes of turbines placed at any particular site.

Air flow and other data have been collected for more than a year. Dominion spokesman Ryan Frazier on Thursday said the partners are still conducting meteorological and other studies and there has been no indication of a BP Wind Energy pullback from the Wise County project because of the parent company's troubles in the Gulf.

Dominion spokesman Greg Edwards, the utility's spokesman in Wise County... more [truncated due to possible copyright]  

WISE - Even while British Petroleum (BP) is up to its corporate neck in the oil-stained waters of the Gulf of Mexico, the company's wind energy wing continues to explore the prospects of building wind farms in Wise and Tazewell counties along with its partner, Virginia Dominion Power.

An area of Wise County along the Kentucky border of Black Mountain that stretches from Big Stone Gap to northwest of Pound has been under scrutiny by BP Wind Energy and Dominion for more than a year. If tests show the area can be a viable wind energy producer, the companies eye the possibility of erecting between 59 to 75 wind turbines that would produce between 80 megawatts and 150 megawatts of power each during peak production periods. The range of power output depends on types and sizes of turbines placed at any particular site.

Air flow and other data have been collected for more than a year. Dominion spokesman Ryan Frazier on Thursday said the partners are still conducting meteorological and other studies and there has been no indication of a BP Wind Energy pullback from the Wise County project because of the parent company's troubles in the Gulf.

Dominion spokesman Greg Edwards, the utility's spokesman in Wise County primarily focusing his attentions on the coal-fired power plant his company is building across a ridge from downtown St. Paul, also said BP Wind Energy was in the Wise County project with all turbine fans whirring.

"There's not been any change or any effect at all in that relationship," Edwards said. "We are still in the process of evaluating the wind resource on Black Mountain to see if the data results can justify a wind energy project."

BP Wind Energy spokeswoman Amanda Abbott confirmed her company's commitment to the Wise County project that is still in the formative stages, even as the parent company deals with the disastrous Gulf spill.

"At BP our immediate priority remains to control the well and to do all that we can to mitigate the impacts of the spill below the surface, on the surface, and to clean up the oil that reaches the shore," she wrote in response to a Times-News inquiry. "BP is in this for the long haul, and we will not stop until we have finished the task - making good the impact that the spill has had on the Gulf and its local communities.

"For me and my colleagues at BP's Wind Energy business, our focus remains on running our wind energy business which includes our involvement in the Wise County project which is in the early stages of development."

Abbott said in the past few weeks BP Wind Energy "has achieved a number of important milestones of our 2010 wind strategy," including the signing of a power purchase agreement for a 250 megawatt wind project in Weld County, Colo., called the Cedar Creek II wind farm.

The Weld County Board of Commissioners has provided unanimous approval to the project, she said. The Wise County Board of Supervisors has provided unanimous backing for the BP Wind Energy/Dominion project as well.

Abbott said her company expects to begin construction soon on Cedar Creek II.

BP Wind Energy has also signed a precedent agreement with TransCanada for 500 megawatts of transmission capacity on a proposed Project Zephyr power line. BP Wind Energy intends to use the planned capacity to enable renewable power from its Horse Creek project in Wyoming to reach power markets in the Southwestern United States.

"We are in full construction of the Goshen North wind farm in Idaho Falls," Abbott reported. "We anticipate the wind farm to be online by year end, and when in full operation it will be the largest wind farm in the state of Idaho."

Wise County officials hope some day to boast the same for Virginia.

"Wise County is so very pleased to work with Dominion and BP Wind Energy with some of these ridges created from surface mining, that they can be used to capture the wind to have an alternate energy source to go along with (Dominion's new) power plant to go into the same energy grid," said Wise County Administrator Shannon Scott.

"We are hopeful that maybe by the summer of 2011 we will have more of a feel that the project will come into fruition. We continue to work with Dominion to help make this important project for the county become a major part of our efforts in economic development not just for our county but the entire region."


Source: http://www.timesnews.net/ar...

JUN 21 2010
http://www.windaction.org/posts/26824-bp-remains-a-player-in-wise-county-wind-project
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