The investment in the 1.5 MW turbines will support Airtricity’s US build programme for 2008, part of its 4,500 MW of developments in Texas, New York, Pennsylvania, Colorado, and New Mexico. Airtricity also has advanced plans to develop projects in California and Canada.

Airtricity chief executive Eddie O’Connor said: “This investment represents Airtricity’s largest purchase of turbines in the history of the company to date. Bearing in mind the intense competition that exists in acquiring turbines at a time of world shortage, we are delighted to have secured capacity to deliver a further 500 MW of renewable energy for our 2008 build programme in the USA.”

The deal follows the recent completion of a $120 million project equity investment with GE Energy Financial Services, Fortis Capital and Wells Fargo for a 125 MW wind farm under construction in West Texas.

Construction of the Forest Creek Wind Farm, using 54 2.3 MW Siemens turbines, began in April and is scheduled for completion by the end of the year on a site 40km southeast of Big Spring