Madison Gas and Electric (MGE) increased its wind power portfolio by nearly four times when it signed an agreement with Midwest Renewable Energy Projects LLC (MRE Projects) to build an 18-turbine, 30 megawatt wind farm near Mason City, Iowa.

MGE will invest $56 million in the Top of Iowa Phase II project, which will provide enough electricity to supply about 12,000 homes annually. Through its purchase of the wind farm, the utility will power about 5 percent of its annual energy demand from renewable power. The project will also allow the company to meet its commitment under the state of Wisconsin's renewable energy portfolio standard three years ahead of the 2010 deadline.

Constuction has begun immediately, and the project is expected to go online in the last quarter of 2007.   EC