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The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE), in partnership with the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association (NRECA) and Cooperative Research Network, has selected the Associated Electric Cooperative Inc. (AECI), of Springfield, Mo., for the 2006 Wind Cooperative of the Year award.

The award recognizes AECI for leadership, demonstrated success and innovation in its wind power program, the DOE says. The company was the first to bring utility-scale wind power to Missouri, and has committed to 156 MW of wind power from three different projects in the state. These include the Bluegrass Ridge Wind Farm in King City, Cow Branch Wind Project in Rock Port and Conception Wind Project in Conception. All three projects are expected to be operational by the end of this year, the DOE adds.

"Associated Electric Cooperative is very pleased to play a part in bringing the first wind farms online in Missouri, and we are honored that DOE and NRECA are recognizing our efforts," says Keith Hartner, AECI's director of member services and corporate communications.

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