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.
Mitsui Buys Stake
In Mexican 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.
Met Tower Installed
Capital City Renewables (CCR) has installed a 100-meter tilt-up meteorological tower in Colorado.
The company says the met tower can be both climbed and easily moved by tilting it downward. The metal lattice tower was assembled on the ground – complete with anemometers and wind vanes, a safety wire for climbing, and Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) safety lights – before being erected and mounted on a steel-plate base.
CCR installed, documented and tested the instruments on the ground for the new tower, which can be climbed to repair instruments, the company says, adding that the tower meets FAA guidelines for aircraft visibility.
In Wind Project
Google has made an approximately $200 million equity investment in the Spinning Spur Wind Project, a 161 MW wind farm in Oldham County, Texas.
The project was built by EDF Energies Nouvelles subsidiary EDF Renewable Energy, which remains an owner and manager of the project.
“The partnership between our companies reflects a departure from sourcing investment capital from traditional financial institutions for our renewable energy projects,” notes Jim Peters, vice president of project finance at EDF Renewable Energy.
The Spinning Spur project consists of 70 Siemens 2.3 MW wind turbines. The project, which commenced commercial operation in December, has a power purchase agreement with SPS, a utility that primarily serves Texas and New Mexico.
The Spinning Spur project joins 10 other renewable energy investments Google has made since 2010 that represent a total of 2 GW of power.
Pattern Energy Group LP has announced that its Ocotillo Wind project, located in Southern California, has reached commercial operation and is transmitting energy to the Sunrise Powerlink, a newly constructed, 117-mile, 500 kV transmission line linking San Diego and the Imperial Valley.
The 265 MW wind project consists of 112 Siemens 2.37 MW turbines, which feature wind towers, blades and nacelles made in the U.S. The towers were manufactured in California by Ameron International, the blades were produced in Iowa and the nacelles were made in Kansas.
Ninety-four of the turbines are erected and operational, and the remaining 18 turbines will be installed this spring.
San Diego Gas & Electric has a 20-year power purchase agreement with Pattern Energy to purchase the output of the project, which will be connected to the Sunrise Powerlink transmission line. Completed in June 2012, the transmission line connects San Diego with the Imperial Valley – one of the most renewable-energy-rich regions in California – and will eventually carry 1 GW of additional power into San Diego.
Gamesa Technology Corp. Inc. has secured a 10-year, full-service operations and maintenance (O&M) agreement with NedPower for its 264 MW Mount Storm Wind Farm, located in West Virginia’s eastern panhandle.
The companies did not disclose the value of the contract.
The wind farm, located about 120 miles west of Washington, D.C., in Grant County, W.Va., features 132 Gamesa G80 2.0 MW turbines. Gamesa has been providing O&M services under a five-year services agreement that went into effect when the project became operational in 2008. That O&M agreement ends June 30, and the new 10-year agreement takes effect July 1.
The contract features the Gamesa Premium Availability program, which includes a full range of turbine platform upgrades, such as operational and software improvements to small correctives, logistics optimization for large correctives, and preventive maintenance solutions.
In Loan Deal
Sprott Power Corp., a Canada-based developer, owner and operator of renewable energy projects, has entered into agreements under which it has advanced and/or agreed to advance approximately C$500,000 in interest-bearing secured loans.
The loans are secured by wind projects in Ontario with executed power purchase agreements totaling approximately 27.5 MW.
300 MW Online
E.ON Climate & Renewables (EC&R) North America has brought two more wind projects online: the Anacacho Wind Farm and the Wildcat I Wind Farm.
The 100 MW Anacacho Wind Farm is located in Kinney County, Texas, and consists of 55 Vestas 1.8 MW turbines. The 200 MW Wildcat I Wind Farm, located in Tipton and Madison counties, Ind., consists of 125 GE 1.6 MW wind turbines. It is EC&R’s first wind project in Indiana.
With these wind farms now operational, the company has over 2.7 GW of nameplate capacity in operation across its 18 wind farms located in five states.
Community-owned utility Austin Energy has added two new wind farms to its portfolio.
Together, the two projects total 293.9 MW of wind energy capacity: The Los Vientos II Windpower Project, built and owned by Duke Energy Renewables, adds an additional 201.6 MW of wind power to the utility’s generation portfolio, and the Whitetail Wind Energy facility, built and owned by Exelon Wind, adds 92.3 MW of wind power.
Austin Energy will purchase all of the wind power produced at these facilities for the next 25 years. The addition of these two wind farms brings Austin Energy’s total wind power portfolio to 851 MW and total renewable energy supply to 27%.
At 201.6 MW, the Los Vientos II project is Austin Energy’s largest wind project under contract to date. The wind farm, located near Harlingen, Texas, consists of 84 Mitsubishi Heavy Industries 2.4 MW turbines. The Whitetail project is located 30 miles southeast of Laredo, Texas, and has 57 1.62 MW turbines.
Compania Eolica de Tamaulipas S.A. de C.V. (CETSA) – a group consisting of Organizacion Soriana, Mexico-based GEMEX and Swiss investor Grupo ECOS – has closed on the financing for the construction of its first wind energy project.
The North American Development Bank (NADB) and Mexican commercial bank Grupo Financiero Banorte are providing a $51 million loan to CETSA for the project.
The wind farm, located in Reynosa, Tamaulipas, consists of 30 Vestas 1.8 MW turbines. Mexican retailer Organizacion Soriana will purchase the electricity produced by the wind farm through a long-term power purchase agreement.
“This electricity will be used by Soriana to supply 163 stores throughout Mexico,” says Aurelio Adan Hernandez, Soriana’s chief financial officer. “Construction is scheduled to begin during the first quarter of this year and is estimated to cost more than $130 million.”
“This is the first wind energy project in Mexico to be funded by NADB,” adds Geronimo Gutierrez, managing director at NADB. “It’s an example of the joint efforts of the public and private sectors to implement clean energy projects, as well as supports the efforts of the state of Tamaulipas and the Mexican government to combat climate change.”
For Oregon Line
Portland General Electric (PGE) and the Bonneville Power Administration (BPA) have signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) to pursue a modification to PGE’s proposed Cascade Crossing Transmission Project.
PGE says it is proposing the Cascade Crossing Transmission Project to meet its customers’ growing energy needs, enhance the region’s grid and support the development of wind energy projects east of the Cascades.
It is one of seven projects in the nation that have been identified as a Job-Creating Grid Modernization Pilot Project by the Obama administration and are the focus of the Interagency Rapid Response Team for Transmission, which aims to improve the quality and timeliness of electric transmission infrastructure permitting, review and consultation by the federal government.
PGE initially proposed a 215-mile transmission project from Boardman to Salem, Ore. Under the modification in the MOU, the line would begin at Boardman and follow the path of the original project, but terminate at a new Pine Grove substation that PGE would build about 18 miles southwest of Maupin.
According to PGE, this change would eliminate about 101 miles of the project from the Maupin area to Salem, avoiding most impacts to the Confederated Tribes of Warm Springs Reservation, the Mt. Hood and Willamette national forests, and private forest and agricultural land in Marion and Linn counties.
PGE also would invest in grid enhancements and/or exchange assets with BPA to increase transmission capacity, and potentially reduce congestion and enhance the reliability of the grid. In return, PGE could receive up to 2.6 GW of transmission capacity ownership rights to deliver electricity to customers in Portland and the Willamette Valley. Specific contract terms are still under discussion.
BPA will conduct a formal stakeholder review process prior to entering into any further agreement. PGE and BPA would cooperate to complete the necessary environmental reviews.
PGE intends to file amendments to the public permitting processes for the Cascade Crossing project. The utility will focus on permitting the project from Boardman to the Pine Grove substation and will suspend permitting of the previously proposed section west of the Maupin area.
PGE first began developing Cascade Crossing in response to an order issued by the Oregon Public Utility Commission (OPUC) in 2004 that directed the utility to work with BPA and others to develop transmission capacity over the Cascade Mountain Range. The project was included in PGE’s most recent Integrated Resource Plan, which was acknowledged by the OPUC in November 2010.
EDF Sells Stake
In Kansas Project
EDF Renewable Energy has sold two 40% ownership stakes in the Spearville 3 Wind Project, a 100.8 MW wind farm developed and built by the company.
Under the agreement, Eurus Energy America Corp. (EEA) will acquire a 40% stake in the project, and a BlackRock-managed fund will acquire a 40% interest. EDF will retain the remaining 20%. The transaction follows the successful closing of tax-equity financing from Bank of America Merrill Lynch in December 2012.
The Spearville 3 project, located northeast of Dodge City, Kan., comprises 63 GE XLE 1.6 MW wind turbines. The project began delivering electricity to Kansas City Power & Light last October under a 20-year power purchase agreement.
EDF Renewable Energy will continue to provide long-term operations and maintenance services to the Spearville 3 project via its affiliate, EDF Renewable Services.
“Our investment in Spearville 3 marks an important step in the [mergers and acquisitions] arena for Eurus,” says Mark Anderson, EEA’s president and CEO. “It also shows the power of partnership – our relationship with EDF Renewable Energy dates back more than 10 years – and it expands the Eurus footprint in the Midwest, one of the most robust regions in the U.S. for competitively priced power from wind.”
Apex Wind Energy has completed the development and construction of the approximately 300 MW Canadian Hills Wind project, located near Oklahoma City.
According to the company, Canadian Hills represents the largest single-phase wind farm to be developed and constructed in Oklahoma. The wind farm, which increases the state’s installed wind capacity by 13%, began operating on Dec. 22, 2012.
Prior to construction, Apex secured long-term contracts for 100% of the project’s capacity with three electric utilities in the region.
During construction, the project employed nearly 300 people, while up to 20 permanent jobs have been directly created to manage the project’s long-term operations, Apex notes.
Three Wind Farms
Iberdrola says it has commissioned three new wind farms in the U.S. The three wind power facilities – the Manzana, Groton and Hoosac wind projects – have a combined capacity of over 265 MW.
The 189 MW Manzana wind project is located in Kern County, Calif., close to the towns of Rosamond and Tehachapi. The wind farm is equipped with 126 GE 1.5 MW turbines.
The 48 MW Groton wind farm is located in the town of Groton in Grafton County, N.H., and consists of 24 Gamesa G87 wind turbines. Finally, the 28.5 MW Hoosac wind farm is located in the municipalities of Florida and Monroe, Mass., and is equipped with 19 GE 1.5 MW wind turbines.
With these wind farms online, Iberdrola’s installed wind power capacity in the U.S. now exceeds 5.7 GW.
Duke Energy Renewables says it has completed a 36 MW energy-storage and power-management system at its 153 MW Notrees Windpower Project, located in West Texas.
Xtreme Power designed and installed the Dynamic Power Resource system at the wind farm and will continue to operate the system. The battery storage project will help mitigate the variability of wind power by storing excess wind energy and discharging it whenever demand for electricity is highest.
In addition to increasing the supply of renewable energy during periods of peak demand, the system will help stabilize the frequency of electricity traveling throughout the power grid. Duke Energy says it is working closely with the Electric Reliability Council of Texas, which signals to the battery storage system to either dispatch stored energy to increase frequency or absorb energy to decrease frequency.
The Electric Power Research Institute will collect performance data from the battery storage system and help assess the potential for broader adoption of energy-storage solutions throughout the industry. Technical and economic data will also be analyzed by the Sandia National Laboratory for the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE). The results of the storage project at the Notrees wind farm will be shared publicly through the DOE’s Smart Grid Information Clearinghouse.
The energy-storage project was made possible thanks to a $22 million grant from the DOE awarded under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009.
Duke Energy provided the remainder of the funding for the project. w
Projects & Contracts
EDF Energizes Repowered Project
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