Tradewind Energy and Western Farmers Electric Cooperative expand Oklahoma wind power project

Expansion of Rocky Ridge Wind Project to 150 MW will power the equivalent of 45,000 Homes

Lenexa, Kan. (May 3, 2011) – TradeWind Energy, LLC and Western Farmers Electric Cooperative (WFEC) have expanded the Rocky Ridge Wind Project planned for Oklahoma’s Kiowa and Washita counties and announced earlier this year.

The project has expanded by 25MW to a new total of 150MW and will include about 93 wind turbines across approximately 28,000 acres of leased land in the two counties.  TradeWind is expected to break ground in the fall of 2011 with commercial operation anticipated for mid 2012.  Approximately 150 workers will be hired during the construction phase.  Upon completion, nine to ten full-time workers will be employed to monitor and maintain the facility, which will produce enough electricity to power the equivalent of 45,000 homes.

The project is expected to contribute over $3 million annually in direct payments to the local community via property taxes and rent payments to approximately100 landowners whose properties will host the turbines or easements.  

“The expansion adds to the mutually beneficial aspect of the project,” said Frank Costanza, TradeWind executive vice president, corporate development.  “Western Farmers will receive additional low-cost renewable energy and greater economy of scale, while the project landowners and the community receive economic benefit via tax and lease payments.  Western Farmers has been tremendous to work with, and TradeWind appreciates the opportunity to extend our relationship.” 

The Rocky Ridge Wind Project will deliver affordable electricity to WFEC member customers in Oklahoma, Texas, Kansas and New Mexico.

”WFEC is pleased it could reach agreement with TradeWind to increase the size of this project,” said WFEC Chief Executive Officer, Gary Roulet.  “The current market conditions for renewable energy, made expanding the project attractive to WFEC and allows the parties to fully use the interconnection approved by SPP, thereby gaining economies of scale.  The project, and the increase in size, is good for rural Oklahoma and good for the member-consumers of the 23 distribution cooperatives served by WFEC.  WFEC looks forward to a long, mutually beneficial relationship with TradeWind.”

ABOUT TRADEWIND ENERGY

TradeWind Energy, LLC, is one of the largest independent wind project development companies in the U.S.  Founded in 2003, the Lenexa, Kan., based company partners with local utilities, cooperatives, environmental groups, municipalities and landowners to develop mutually beneficial wind energy projects. TradeWind Energy, the 2009 recipient of the Kansas Governor’s Energy Achievement Award, takes great pride in its ability to deliver low-cost wind energy while maintaining an uncompromising commitment to long-term project quality. The company is actively developing 4,500 MW of clean, renewable energy in 11 states throughout the central United States. TradeWind Energy developed the 250 megawatt Smoky Hills Wind Project located in central Kansas – the largest wind project in the state. For more information, visit www.tradewindenergy.com. 

ABOUT WESTERN FARMERS ELECTRIC COOPERATIVE

WFEC is a generation and transmission cooperative headquartered in Anadarko, Okla. Additional plant facilities are located in Hugo, Okla. and Mooreland, Okla. Member-owners consist of 23 distribution cooperatives, located in Oklahoma and New Mexico, and the Altus Air Force Base, which, in turn, serve the total electric needs of more than half a million people. WFEC owns and operates generating plants at three locations and maintains more than 3,600 miles of transmission line. The cooperative has a combined capacity of over 1,700 megawatts, including hydropower allocation and, with the addition of the Rocky Ridge Wind Project, purchases all of the electricity produced from four wind generation projects in Oklahoma.  For more information, visit www.wfec.com.

Media Contacts:

TradeWind Energy

Laurie Roberts, Parris Communications

(816) 931-8900

lroberts@parriscommunications.com

Western Farmers Electric Cooperative

Sondra Boykin

(405) 247-4370 

s_boykin@wfec.com

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