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Charlotte, N.C.-based Duke Energy plans to build a new wind energy project in eastern Colorado, and has closed its acquisition of a Pennsylvania wind farm.

Duke Energy will develop the 51 MW Kit Carson Windpower Project on approximately 6,000 acres of land near Burlington, Colo., under long-term lease. The project will be the company's first in the state and fourth in the region.

As a result of a 20-year power purchase agreement (PPA), the project will supply renewable energy to customers of the 44 electric cooperatives that constitute the Tri-State Generation and Transmission Association. The project is expected to enter commercial operation by the end of 2010.

The Kit Carson project will consist of 34 GE wind turbines, each capable of generating 1.5 MW of electricity. To construct the wind farm, Duke Energy will draw upon the supply of the turbines it arranged to purchase from GE in September 2008.

In addition, the close of Duke Energy's acquisition of the 70 MW North Allegheny Windpower Project in Pennsylvania brings the company its first commercial wind farm in the eastern U.S. Duke Energy purchased the project from wind turbine manufacturer and project developer Gamesa Energy USA.

The North Allegheny project consists of 35 Gamesa wind turbines, each capable of producing 2 MW. Final commissioning of the North Allegheny project, located in Blair and Cambria counties, Pa., is under way.

Duke has entered into a 23.5-year PPA to sell all of the output from the wind project and associated renewable energy certificates to FirstEnergy. The site is expected to begin generating power for FirstEnergy later this year.

SOURCE: Duke Energy

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