September 14, 2006

Utility plans wind farm near Fond du Lac

Madison-based Wisconsin Power & Light Co. today filed an application with state regulators to receive a fixed rate of return over 20 years to build a wind farm in Fond du Lac County.

The Cedar Ridge wind farm would be located in the towns of Empire and Eden and consist of 40 wind turbines.

Depending on the type of turbines used, the wind farm could generate 80 to 100 megawatts of electricity, or enough to power 20,500 homes, according to the utility.

The project is estimated to cost between $140 million and $175 million.

WP&L is a subsidiary of Alliant Energy Corp. (LNT). In an application filed this morning with state regulators, the utility seeks a 12.9% return, or profit, on its investment in the wind farm.

The utility wants to use a new form of financing, adopted by the Legislature last year and similar to one Alliant has used in Iowa, that provides a fixed rate of return over 20 years, rather than one that state regulators could vary from year to year.

The utility is seeking a decision by the state Public Service Commission early next year, to permit the wind farm to be built by late 2007 or 2008.

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