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The Massachusetts Municipal Wholesale Electric Co. (MMWEC) has entered into an agreement to purchase the assets of Berkshire Wind Power in Hancock and Lanesboro, Mass. The purchase is planned for closing by late May or when various conditions of the agreement are satisfied.

Under the agreement, MMWEC will pay Berkshire Wind $4 million for all of its assets, including the easements, permits, agreements, engineering documents, developed property and other assets that enable the owner to build and operate the approximate 15 MW Berkshire Wind project. An access road and some excavation work has been completed at the project site, which is being developed by Distributed Generation Systems (Disgen), an affiliate of Berkshire Wind.

MMWEC's involvement in the project is being funded through agreements with 15 Massachusetts municipal utilities that initially agreed to purchase all of the project's output but recently authorized MMWEC to pursue outright ownership of project assets. MMWEC expects to finance the purchase with a bank loan.

According to Disgen President Dale Osborn, costs incurred in developing the Berkshire project over the past 10 years exceed $6 million.

MMWEC will make the contractual and financial arrangements needed to finance the project, including the purchase and installation of wind turbines at the site. The current project design includes 10 1.5 MW wind turbines with a total project capacity of 15 MW. The project could provide additional generating capacity and be in operation by 2010.

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