BP, Sempra Bring
BP Wind Energy and Sempra U.S. Gas & Power have announced that the 470 MW Flat Ridge 2 Wind Farm and the 141 MW Mehoopany Wind Farm have both entered full commercial operation. Both projects are 50-50 joint ventures between BP and Sempra.
The Flat Ridge 2 project is located on a 66,000-acre site in Kansas’ Harper, Barber, Kingman and Sumner counties. It is the state’s biggest wind project and the largest single-build wind farm ever constructed in the U.S., according to the companies.
Flat Ridge 2 represents a combined investment in excess of $800 million, and created over 500 jobs during the peak of construction as well as 30 permanent jobs. The wind farm utilizes 294 GE 1.6 MW wind turbines and will generate enough electricity to power over 140,000 average U.S. homes, according to the companies.
The entire power output from the wind farm has been sold under long-term power purchase agreements to Associated Electric Cooperative Inc. (310 MW), Southwestern Electric Power Co. (a unit of American Electric Power (109 MW)), and Arkansas Electric Cooperative Corp. (51 MW). The power generated by the Flat Ridge 2 Wind Farm will be exported to Missouri, Arkansas and Louisiana.
The Mehoopany project is the largest wind farm in Pennsylvania and represents a combined investment of approximately $250 million.
Located on a 9,000-acre site about 20 miles northwest of Scranton, the wind farm utilizes 88 GE 1.6 MW wind turbines. The entire power output has been sold under long-term power purchase agreements with Old Dominion Electric Cooperative and Southern Maryland Electric Cooperative Inc. A wholly owned affiliate of BP Wind Energy will be the operator of the project.
Japan-based Mitsui & Co. Ltd., through its newly established subsidiary, MIT Renewables Mexico, has reached an agreement with EDF EN Mexico, a subsidiary of EDF Energies Nouvelles, to acquire a 50% stake in the common stock of Eoliatec del Istmo, which owns the 164 MW Bii Stinu Wind Project.
The total cost of the project, located in Oaxaca, Mexico, amounts to approximately 5.1 billion Mexican pesos ($400 million).
EDF EN Mexico completed the development activities for Bii Stinu and closed on the financing arrangements. The project, which is now in an advanced stage of construction, is scheduled to start commercial operation in June. Power generated from the project will be delivered to various entities of five major private-sector corporations, based on 15-year power purchase agreements.
Mitsui is the No. 2 independent power producer in Mexico, participating in 2.922 GW of gross generation capacity, including this project and six other gas-fired power plants in the country.
EDF Flips Switch
On Texas Project
EDF Renewable Energy (formerly enXco) says the 150 MW Bobcat Bluff Wind Project, located in Archer County, Texas, has entered commercial operation.
The company acquired the project in March 2012 and commenced construction the following month. The wind farm consists of 100 GE 1.5 MW wind turbines and spans approximately 12,500 acres.
The project will be operated and maintained by EDF Renewable Services (formerly enXco Service Corp.). EDF Trading will provide energy management services and act as the qualified scheduling entity.
EDF Renewable Energy (formerly enXco) says the 102.5 MW Shiloh IV Wind Project, located in Solano County, Calif., is now operational.
In addition, the company has closed financing on the project via a sale-leaseback transaction with Union Bank of California Leasing Inc., a subsidiary of Union Bank.
The Shiloh IV project, developed and owned by EDF Renewable Energy, consists of 50 REpower MM92 turbines. It is the largest operational wind repowering project in the country, according to EDF Renewable Energy. For the project, wind turbines installed in the late 1980s were replaced with modern technology, allowing for a tenfold increase in clean electricity generated with 22% fewer wind turbines, the company explains.
The project will deliver electricity into the California Independent System Operator transmission system, for the benefit of Pacific Gas and Electric Co., under a 25-year power purchase agreement. EDF Renewable Services (formerly enXco Service Corp.) will provide the operations and maintenance services for the wind farm.
Vestas has received a three-year extension from Alliant Energy to provide service and maintenance for 121 V82-1.65 MW wind turbines at the Whispering Willow Wind Farm – East, located in Iowa.
Under the agreement, Vestas will provide its Active Output Management 2000 service option, which consists of scheduled maintenance and VestasOnline, a surveillance system that allows Vestas to monitor and remotely control the turbines.
Vestas has performed the service and maintenance at the Whispering Willow Wind Farm – East since the project entered operation in 2009.
E.ON has awarded Alicat Workboats a contract to build four new vessels to support offshore wind projects. The first vessel to be built will serve E.ON’s Robin Rigg Wind Farm off the U.K.’s Solway Firth.
Alicat has started to build the new 19-meter, high-speed wind farm service vessel, and delivery is due mid-2013. According to the companies, the aluminum catamarans will offer greater loading capability across the fore deck, as well as a well-equipped aft deck, and will also feature a redesigned saloon and island wheelhouse arrangement.
Powered by two MAN V12 engines and jet propulsion via twin Rolls Royce Kamewa Jets, the workboats will be capable of 30 knots.
WKN USA Brings
Renewable energy developer WKN USA says it has brought two wind projects online: Project Mozart, a 30 MW wind farm located just north of Rotan, Texas; and Project Wagner, a 6 MW project in Palm Springs, Calif.
Project Mozart utilizes 12 Nordex N100 2.5 MW turbines and interconnects to the local ERCOT grid. It is the first phase of a larger 250 MW project. Project Wagner comprises two Vestas V90 3 MW turbines, which produce as much energy as up to 60 of the older surrounding wind turbines, according to WKN USA.
EDF Renewable Energy (formerly enXco) says it has completed tax-equity financing with Bank of America Merrill Lynch for the 100.8 MW Spearville 3 Wind Project. Details of the transaction were not disclosed.
EDF Renewable Energy developed and built the Spearville 3 Wind Project, located in Ford County, northeast of Dodge City, Kan. The project, which consists of 63 GE XLE turbines, began delivering electricity into the Kansas City Power and Light generation portfolio under a 20-year power purchase agreement in October 2012.
EDF Renewable Services (formerly enXco Service Corp.) will provide the operations and maintenance services for the project.
Operation By 2014
Fishermen’s Energy says it plans to begin construction on an offshore wind demonstration project off the New Jersey coast this year.
The project, which was awarded funding from the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) in December, is expected to include up to six direct-drive turbines in state waters three miles off the coast of Atlantic City, N.J., and will use a bottom-mounted foundation design and innovative installation procedures to mitigate potential environmental impacts.
The developer notes that it has obtained all of the federal and state permits necessary for the construction of the project and that it is focusing on selecting the contractors for the project, with a special emphasis on New Jersey vendors.
Fishermen’s says it plans to start onshore construction in Atlantic City this year, with offshore construction and commissioning of the wind farm taking place next year. The company expects the project to achieve commercial operation by 2014.
BOEM Seeks Input
On Offshore Project
The U.S. Department of the Interior’s Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) has issued a request to determine whether there is competitive interest in leasing an area offshore New York that the New York Power Authority has proposed for developing offshore wind energy.
BOEM must assess whether there are other parties interested in developing commercial wind facilities in the same area in order to determine whether it is appropriate to issue a lease on a non-competitive basis, or whether a competitive process is required.
The proposed project, which would be located about 11 nautical miles south of Long Beach, N.Y., is designed to generate at least 350 MW of electricity from offshore wind resources for the Long Island and New York City region, with the ability to expand generation capacity to as much as 700 MW – enough electricity to power an estimated 245,000 homes, according to BOEM.
The proposed lease area is approximately 127 square miles. In addition to inquiring about competitive interest, BOEM is seeking public comment on the proposal, its potential environmental consequences and the use of the area in which the proposed project would be located.
Handful Of Projects
MidAmerican Energy Co. says that in 2012, the company completed three wind farms totaling 407 MW in Iowa. With these projects complete, wind power makes up 30% of the company’s portfolio.
In January 2012, MidAmerican acquired the 106 MW Vienna wind project, located in Marshall and Tama counties; the 200 MW Eclipse wind project, located in Guthrie and Audubon counties; and the 101 MW Morning Light wind project, located in Adair County. The three projects consist of 176 wind turbines.
The wind turbines for MidAmerican Energy’s 2012 wind expansion were supplied by Siemens, with the blades manufactured at its Fort Madison, Iowa, facility. The Vienna wind project was constructed by Mortenson Construction, while the Eclipse and Morning Light wind projects were constructed by Wanzek Construction.
MidAmerican also announced that it has completed the 168 MW Pinyon Pines Wind I project and the 132 MW Pinyon Pines Wind II project.
The wind farms, formerly known as Alta Wind VII and Alta Wind IX, consist of a total of 100 Vestas V90-3.0 MW turbines and are located near Tehachapi, Calif.
Southern California Edison (SCE) will purchase the electricity from each of the projects pursuant to the terms of long-term power purchase agreements. The projects are interconnected to SCE’s Tehachapi Renewable Transmission Project.
Algonquin Power Co., Algonquin Power & Utilities Corp.’s non-regulated power generation subsidiary, has acquired the 109.5 MW Shady Oaks wind project from China-based Goldwind Science & Technology Co. Ltd.
The Shady Oaks project is located in northern Illinois, approximately 50 miles west of Chicago, and reached commercial operation in June 2012. The facility has entered into a 20-year inflation-indexed power purchase agreement with Commonwealth Edison.
The wind farm comprises 68 Goldwind GW82 1.5 MW wind turbines and three Goldwind GW100 2.5 MW permanent magnet direct-drive wind turbines.
Invenergy Wind LLC has closed on the project financing for the first phase of its Des Moulins wind energy project, which is currently under construction in Quebec.
Prudential Capital Group acted as the structuring and documentation adviser, and Sovereign Bank NA acted as the lead coordinating bank, joint lead arranger, joint book runner and co-syndication agent for the transaction, which included construction, bridge and term loans. Rabobank Nederland-NY Branch and Union Bank NA also acted as joint lead arrangers and joint book runners. Sunlife Assurance Company of Canada also participated in the financing as a fixed-rate note purchaser.
The wind farm is located approximately 140 miles northeast of Montreal, in the municipalities of Kinnear’s Mills, St-Jean-de-Brebeuf, and Thetford Mines in Quebec, and will consist of 59 Enercon E-82 2.3 MW wind turbines, for a total installed capacity of 135.7 MW.
The project has a 20-year power supply contract with Hydro-Quebec and will connect to the Hydro-Quebec TransEnergie transmission grid.
Order In Mexico
Vestas has received a 54 MW order for 30 V100-1.8 MW wind turbines from an unnamed customer in Mexico.
The contract comprises the delivery, transportation, installation and commissioning of the turbines; a VestasOnline Business SCADA system; and a 15-year service and availability agreement.
Delivery of the turbines is scheduled for the second quarter of this year, and the wind project is expected to enter operation in the first quarter of 2014.
Apex Taps Provider
For Met-Mast Fleet
Apex Wind Energy Inc. has awarded renewable energy developer TUV SUD America Inc. a master service agreement to perform maintenance services on Apex’s met-mast fleet in the U.S.
The contract covers a range of field services for Apex’s met-mast fleet across the U.S., including full sensor replacement, maintenance on current met-mast sites, restoration of communication devices, and the updating and supply of full documentation of met-mast sites, reinstallation, decommissioning and other services. The project began in late October and will continue through this year.
Invenergy Wind LLC has announced that its 200 MW California Ridge Wind Project has been completed and has entered commercial operation.
The project is located on approximately 27,700 acres of private land in Illinois’ Champaign and Vermilion counties, and features 134 GE 1.6 MW wind turbines. The facility is operated and maintained by Invenergy Services LLC, an affiliate of Invenergy, and sells its power and renewable energy credits to the Tennessee Valley Authority under a long-term contract.
Turbine erection and other balance-of-plant work were performed by Clinton, Ind.-based White Construction. Batavia, Ill.-based Henkels & McCoy constructed the project’s transmission line and substation.
NextEra Energy Canada ULC says its affiliate, Conestogo Wind LP, has completed and brought into service its 22.9 MW Conestogo Wind Energy Centre.
The project, located in Wellington County, Ontario, comprises 10 Siemens wind turbines. All of the power from the project is being sold to the Ontario Power Authority under the province’s feed-in-tariff program. Conestogo Wind, an indirect subsidiary of NextEra Energy Canada, owns and operates the project.
The Conestogo Wind Energy Centre is the first of eight wind projects that NextEra Energy Canada plans to bring into service by the end of 2015 in Ontario. Combined, NextEra Energy Canada’s eight Ontario wind projects represent a capital investment in the province of approximately C$1.5 billion.
Uses Alstom Turbines
Dominion Virginia Power, which was recently awarded a grant by the DOE to complete the engineering, site evaluation and planning for an offshore project in Virginia, says Alstom’s Haliade 150 offshore turbines will be used for this demonstration-scale initiative.
Dominion will install two Haliade 150 turbines approximately 22 miles off the coast of Virginia Beach. The turbine is based on Alstom’s Pure Torque technology and is combined with a permanent magnet direct drive generator and a 150-meter rotor to reduce the cost of offshore wind power by “increasing reliability and availability, improving drivetrain efficiency, boosting energy yield, and reducing operations and maintenance costs,” according to Alstom.
Duke Energy Renewables and the North American Development Bank have signed two $110 million loans for the construction of the Los Vientos I and Los Vientos II wind projects in Texas’ Willacy and Cameron counties in Texas. Both projects entered commercial operation in late December, and the combined installed capacity of the wind farms is 402 MW.
The 200 MW Los Vientos I wind project consists of 87 Siemens 2.3 MW wind turbines. The electricity produced by the wind farm is being purchased by CPS Energy of San Antonio, Texas, the nation’s largest municipally owned utility.
The 202 MW Los Vientos II project comprises 84 2.4 MW Mitsubishi Heavy Industries wind turbines. The electricity produced by Los Vientos II is being purchased by Austin Energy.
The electricity generated by both wind farms is being delivered to the Rio Hondo substation on the Electric Reliability Council of Texas grid.
Thumb Wind Park
DTE Energy says construction of the 110 MW Thumb Wind Park in Michigan has been completed and that the facility is now at full-scale commercial operation.
The wind power project uses 69 1.6 MW GE wind turbines and covers 15,000 acres in Bloomfield, McKinley and Sigel townships in Huron County, and Minden and Delaware townships in Sanilac County. About 100 construction workers were employed while the facility was being built, and 10 full-time workers operate and maintain the project.
DTE Energy will build its next wind project in Huron County by the end of this year, which will add another 110 MW to the company’s renewable energy portfolio. The Echo Wind Park, primarily in Oliver and Chandler townships, will be sited on nearly 16,000 acres and host up to 70 wind turbines. w
Projects & Contracts
BP, Sempra Bring Projects Online
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