On the heels of its landmark 100th wind project announcement, Mortenson's Renewable Energy Groups is cautiously optimistic about the potential for new wind power generation throughout North America in 2011 and 2012. Fueling the company's outlook is the fact that Mortenson is building 11 new wind projects in North America. The 11 projects will add 1,363 MW of clean electrical power to the U.S. power grid by year-end 2011, providing power to an estimated 400,000 average homes.
Mortenson also is in the process of constructing two wind power projects in Canada that will produce a combined 307.8 MW of clean renewable energy.
Since entering the renewable energy market in 1995, Mortenson Construction has become a leading builder of wind power facilities in North America. Mortenson has erected nearly 7,000 wind turbines that generate approximately 11,000 MW of power in 27 states and provinces throughout North America. Mortenson also constructs solar power, geothermal and hydroelectric facilities, and is a leading provider of transmission and distribution infrastructure.
Behind the steady growth in wind power construction is a landmark wind project both for Mortenson and the wind power industry. Mortenson's 100th wind project, located in southeast Iowa, is one of the largest single-phase wind projects ever to be built in the U.S. When completed in December 2011, the Rolling Hills Wind Farm will generate 443.9 MW of power for 130,000 average homes. The project is being built for MidAmerican Energy Co., a Des Moines, Iowa-based company. Mortenson will be responsible for the erection of 193 Siemens 2.3-MW wind turbines, the construction of access roads, foundations and underground collection.
According to American Wind Energy Association, the windpower industry installed 1,118 MW in the first quarter of 2011 with another 5,600 MW currently under construction. The under construction figures are nearly twice the megawatts reported at this time both in 2009 and in 2010.
In addition to wind power, Mortenson's Renewable Energy Groups has formed a new operating group dedicated to the installation of high-voltage electric transmission and distribution systems. Over the past 16 years, Mortenson's experience with this segment of the power transmission industry has grown steadily. Mortenson has constructed and energized more than 73 high-voltage substations and interconnects through 345-kV and has installed more than 175 miles (282 km) of transmission lines through 345-kV. Mortenson offers high-voltage construction expertise — transmission and substations — to both the renewable and nonrenewable power markets.
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