St. Louis-based Wind Capital Group to develop US$250M, 150-MW wind project in West Palm Beach County, Florida, on 10,000 acres of sugarcane crop land; project expected to be operating by end of 2012

ST. LOUIS , February 18, 2011 () – A St. Louis wind energy business has signed on to develop a $250 million wind project in Florida.

The 150-megawatt wind farm is being developed in West Palm Beach County by Wind Capital Group, which has developed projects totaling more than 300 megawatts of generating capacity in northwest Missouri. The Florida project is planned for more than 10,000 acres in an area used for growing sugarcane.

The company said it intends to lease the required land from sugarcane growers, who would be able to continue to raising crops.

The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reported Friday that if it's completed the Wind Capital project would be a first for Florida. Wind Capital Group founder Tom Carnahan said the Florida project is in the early phases, but Wind Capital hopes to be generating electricity by the end of 2012.

"Wind Capital Group since its inception has always been about getting a first-mover advantage in looking for places where you can do large, utility-scale wind development where nobody else was looking," Carnahan said.

He said newer, larger, more efficient turbines had opened up markets such as the southeastern U.S. that had been so far largely overlooked by the wind industry.

Wind Capital also has specialists monitoring and counting birds and has been holding advance meetings with local officials, landowners and environmental groups to address potential issues concerning migratory patterns.

"Florida is a unique area," Carnahan said. "We want to take great care that the benefits of wind energy are complementary to conservation efforts."

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