The U.S. Department of the Interior (DOI) has approved the 200 MW Searchlight Wind Energy Project, which will be built on land managed by the Bureau of Land Management in Searchlight, Nev.
The Western Area Power Administration is proposing to construct, operate and maintain a new switching station to connect the project to the existing power grid. When built, the project will provide enough electricity to power approximately 70,000 homes, according to the DOI. The facility will create an estimated 275 peak jobs and 15 operational jobs, and generate about $18.6 million in property- and sales-tax revenue for local government.
The DOI also approved two major solar projects: the 750 MW McCoy Solar Energy Project and the 150 MW Desert Harvest Solar Farm, both of which are located in California.
All three projects underwent extensive environmental review and public comment, and the developers agreed to undertake significant mitigation efforts to minimize impacts to wildlife, water, historical, cultural and other resources, the DOI says. State and federal agencies have set up a joint compensation fund operated by the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation to help mitigate impacts.
Alstom says it will supply up to 414 MW of wind turbines to NaturEner’s Wild Rose 1 and Wild Rose 2 wind projects, which will be built in Alberta. The deal marks Alstom’s entry into the Canadian wind energy market.
The agreement includes the supply of 138 ECO 110 3.0 MW wind turbines and 10 years of maintenance services. The Alstom ECO 110 wind turbine is classified as II-A and IS Class and has a rotor diameter of 110 meters. Alstom will assemble the turbine nacelles in its factories in Amarillo, Texas, and Bunuel, Spain, and will source other components globally.
The agreement is subject to the financial close of the project and its successful permitting.
The Wild Rose 1 and Wild Rose 2 wind farms will be located on private agricultural land in Cypress County, Alberta. Scheduled to enter commercial operation at the end of 2014 and the end of 2015, respectively, Wild Rose 1 and 2 will be the largest wind farm in Canada on a combined basis, with a total installed generation capacity of approximately 414 MW.
NaturEner is in active negotiations regarding long-term energy and environmental attribute sales from the projects. NaturEner is also in advanced negotiations on financing structures. The company expects construction on the Wild Rose 1 project to begin in the second half of this year and construction on the Wild Rose 2 project to begin in the second half of next year.
Closing Secured For
Puerto Rico Project
Accounting, tax and advisory firm CohnReznick LLP (CR) and key members of Reznick Capital Markets Securities (RCMS) have closed on an $88 million sale-and-leaseback transaction for the 23.4 MW Punta Lima wind farm, located outside Naguabo, Puerto Rico.
CR and RCMS provided consulting and advisory services to the seller as well as Gestamp Wind Energy North America. The buyer, Sovereign Bank NA, is a subsidiary of Banco Santander.
CR’s national renewable energy practice and the RCMS team provided financial, tax and auditing consulting; valuation; and structuring services.
The project has a power purchase and operating agreement with the Puerto Rico Electric Power Authority, which contracted 100% of the power produced, along with the renewable energy credits.
South Kent Set
Samsung Renewable Energy Inc. and Pattern Energy Group LP say they have obtained financing for the 270 MW South Kent Wind project, which will be built in Ontario.
With financing secured, the project can move into the construction phase. The South Kent Wind project will utilize 124 Ontario-made turbines, including towers manufactured at CS Wind’s factory in Windsor and blades produced at Siemens’ factory in Tillsonburg.
Samsung notes that the project is an important part of the company’s $7 billion investment in Ontario and goal of building and operating 2.5 GW of wind and solar power. Through this investment, Samsung and its partners are establishing four manufacturing facilities in Windsor, Toronto, Tillsonburg and London, creating 900 new manufacturing jobs and 16,000 jobs overall.
Samsung and Pattern are also collaborating on three other wind energy projects in Ontario: the 150 MW Grand Renewable Energy Park in Haldimand County; the 270 MW K2 Wind project in the township of Ashfield-Colborne-Wawanosh; and the 180 MW Armow Wind project in the municipality of Kincardine.
Firm Brings Quebec
Wind Farm Online
TransAlta Corp. has completed the 68 MW New Richmond Wind Facility, located in the Gaspesie region of Quebec.
All of the power generated by the project is being sold to Hydro-Quebec under a 20-year contract.
“Adding New Richmond to our company means we now supply 167 MW of wind in the Quebec market and over 1,220 MW of wind power to customers in Quebec, New Brunswick, Ontario and Alberta,” says Dawn Farrell, president and CEO of TransAlta. “Renewable energy assets – wind, geothermal and hydro – now make up almost 25 percent of our portfolio – a significant achievement for the company over the past decade.”
AXYS To Deploy
AXYS Technologies Inc. says it has signed an agreement with National Cheng Kung University (NCKU) in Taiwan to supply the WindSentinel wind resource assessment buoy.
The buoy will use a motion-compensated light detecting and ranging device to capture wind data that will then be transmitted and analyzed by NCKU researchers.
The system will be used to support Taiwan’s development of 3 GW of offshore wind projects. At this first stage, the WindSentinel will be deployed in the Super Tank at NCKU’s Tainan Hydraulics Lab. AXYS is represented in Taiwan by SINO Instrument Enterprise Co., which will be assisting in the deployment and servicing of the system.
Siemens has signed a deal with wpd group to supply and install 80 wind turbines for the 288 MW Butendiek offshore wind farm, which will be built in the North Sea.
The wind turbines, which have a capacity of 3.6 MW and a rotor diameter of 120 meters, will be installed in a 42 square-kilometer area located about 32 kilometers west of the island of Sylt, near the German-Danish border.
The agreement also covers a long-term maintenance contract for a period of 10 years. Siemens will also provide a new logistics concept that includes a service operation vessel specially developed for deployments to offshore wind facilities. The total contract is worth more than €700 million.
This project company is made up of five investors. Siemens Financial Services, Marguerite Fund, Industriens Pension and PKA A/S – each of which will indirectly hold 22.5% – will provide, as financial investors, a substantial portion of the required equity and have secured the financing of the project with a total project volume of €1.3 billion.
wpd group, which will hold a 10% stake in the project, will also contribute to the equity but will focus mainly on project development and project management. All of the partners have aligned their resources in order to secure a project finance structure on a 67% senior debt and 33% equity basis with a consortium of up to nine banks, Siemens notes.
AMSC Nets Order
From Inox Wind
AMSC says it has inked a $30 million deal to provide its wind turbine electrical control systems (ECS) to Inox Wind Ltd.
AMSC expects to begin shipments of this order this quarter and complete shipments in 2014. This is the fifth and largest order that AMSC has received from Inox since the company began volume production of its 2 MW wind turbines, which were licensed from AMSC in May 2009.
AMSC’s ECS include a wind turbine power converter cabinet, internal power supply and various controls. Together, these systems control power flows, regulate voltage, monitor system performance, and control the pitch of the wind turbine blades and the yaw of the turbines.
Gamesa has landed a contract to provide operation and maintenance (O&M) services at 80 Iberdrola-owned wind farms located in Spain and Portugal.
The company will oversee maintenance for three years of more than 1,100 Gamesa 2.0 MW turbines. The deal comes with an option to extend the contract for two additional years.
In addition, Iberdrola awarded Gamesa a contract to manage O&M services at three Iberdrola wind farms in Hungary that have a combined installed capacity of 108 MW. Under the terms of the agreement, the company will maintain 54 Gamesa 2.0 MW turbines for three years, with an option to extend the deal for another two years.
Gamesa manages maintenance of more than 6 GW of Iberdrola-owned turbines worldwide. With recurring revenue, high profitability and cashflow generation, Gamesa notes that O&M services are key to its growth.
Deal With ENMAX
Vestas has signed a five-year service agreement with ENMAX Energy Corp. for the Kettles Hill Wind Farm.
The project, located near Pincher Creek, Alberta, includes 35 of Vestas’ V80-1.8 MW wind turbines. The contract for the 63 MW site includes Vestas’ Active Output Management 5000 service option.
The first phase of the Kettles Hill Wind Farm was built in 2006 with five V80-1.8 MW turbines, and the second phase of the project, which added 30 V80-1.8 MW turbines, was completed in 2007. ENMAX Energy, through a wholly owned subsidiary, acquired the facility in 2008.
Firm Buys Wind
For Mexico Plant
SC Johnson – the maker of household products such as Windex, Glade, Pledge and Raid – says it has signed a power purchase agreement (PPA) with Comision Federal de Electricidad (CFE), Mexico’s government-run grid operator, that will enable SC Johnson to increase its use of renewable energy at its Toluca, Mexico, facility to an estimated 86%.
Under the PPA, SC Johnson will purchase wind energy produced by turbines located in Mexico’s Oaxaca region beginning in the middle of this year. The wind turbines were constructed by Enel, in partnership with CFE.
This is not SC Johnson’s first wind energy initiative: Last year, the company installed two wind turbines at Waxdale, its Mt. Pleasant, Wis.-based global manufacturing plant. In 2010, the company installed three mini-wind turbines at its Racine, Wis.-based corporate headquarters, and in 2009, the company erected a wind turbine to help power its European manufacturing facility in the Netherlands.
Wind tower manufacturer Broadwind Energy says it has received a $27 million order from an unnamed U.S. wind turbine manufacturer.
“It is nice to see orders begin to flow as a result of the extension of the production tax credit [(PTC)],” says Peter C. Duprey, Broadwind’s president and CEO. “With the PTC renewal modified to include projects that commence construction by the end of the year, we expect better order visibility. We continue to be optimistic about the tower business.”
The towers will be produced at Broadwind’s Manitowoc, Wis., and Abilene, Texas, facilities and are scheduled for delivery this year.
The Lake Erie Energy Development Corp. (LEEDCo) says it has assembled a team of local experts and partners to help in the development of an offshore wind project in the Great Lakes.
Last December, LEEDCo was awarded $4 million in funding from the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) to install nine 3 MW direct-drive wind turbines on monopile foundations in Lake Erie.
The team for the “Icebreaker” project consists of approximately a dozen partner organizations. In addition to the DOE, the other partners include Siemens, URS, Offshore Design Engineering Ltd., Freshwater Wind, Eranti Engineering, DNV KEMA, Bayer Material Science, the Great Lakes Energy Institute at Case Western Reserve University, the National Renewable Energy Laboratory, COWI (and its U.S. subsidiary, Ocean Coastal Consultants), Project Management Consultants and McMahon DeGulis LLP.
The group will submit the results of its work to the federal government. The DOE will evaluate the results of the seven technology demonstration projects and will select up to three of those projects to each receive an additional $46 million in funding during a four-year period. In order to win the next round of funding, LEEDCo team will do the following within the next year:
n Address critical technical objectives, including evaluating and selecting the optimal turbine foundation design; reviewing installation, operations and maintenance methodologies; researching the challenges and solutions for icing conditions; and assessing the technical and financial feasibility of the overall project;
n Complete the necessary permit applications; and
n Secure power purchase agreements with potential customers, and address initial interconnectivity considerations.
The Icebreaker project will give Siemens the opportunity to test new icing technologies that could be applied around the world, LEEDCo notes.
“We are working on a de-icing mechanism for the blades,” explains Thomas Mousten, head of offshore wind, Americas at Siemens Energy Inc. “Ice on the blades can cause an imbalance of the rotor, which would require the wind turbine to be shut down until ice is removed. We are working on a way to heat up the blades to reduce the amount of downtime due to ice.”
Battery Storage Aids
Samsung SDI and Xtreme Power will install a 1 MW/1 MWh lithium-ion battery energy-storage system that the companies say will facilitate wind energy integration in Texas.
The companies will connect the energy-storage system to South Plains Electric Cooperative’s grid at the Reese Technology Center in Lubbock, Texas, as part of an ongoing wind energy technology program managed by GroupNIRE and Texas Tech University. The system will focus on combining utility-scale energy storage with wind power integration.
The companies say the battery storage could have several benefits for wind energy and the electric grid, including mitigating intermittent fluctuations of a number of nearby wind turbines, regulating the distribution bus voltage, serving as spinning reserve and providing frequency support during the loss of generation.
The $27 million demonstration project is being funded jointly by the Center for the Commercialization of Electric Technologies and a Smart Grid Investment Grant awarded by the U.S. Department of Energy under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act.
The Atmospheric Science Program of Indiana University (IU) and the Centre for Advanced Condition Monitoring (CACM) at the University of Strathclyde in Scotland will use SgurrEnergy’s Galion LIDAR devices for wind energy research projects.
IU will deploy its Galion at the National Wind Technology Center located in Boulder, Colo. Galion will be used to implement a variety of scan geometries to explore key questions of interest to the wind energy industry. These include confirming the accuracy of “remote mast” configurations, which measure wind speeds in one location using a Galion installed in another location 1 km away.
Other tests will use the Galion to acquire vertical and horizontal cross sections of the wind, providing detailed visualizations of wind shear, veer and wind turbine wake phenomena.
Wind analysts at CACM will use the Galion LIDAR to quantify the impact of specific characteristics of the wind, such as turbulence and gust structure, on key turbine components and turbine life.
FHSU To Install
Two Vestas Turbines
Fort Hays State University (FHSU) plans to install two wind turbines to supply electricity for its Kansas-based campus.
According to FHSU, the Vestas-supplied wind turbines will be operational by late June, with an anticipated energy saving of $600,000 to $1 million. The final cost of the project was estimated at $8.8 million to $9 million.
Vestas will produce blades, towers and nacelles at its Colorado manufacturing facilities. Additionally, FHSU is nearing an agreement with Longview, Wash.-based PNE Corp. for turbine installation.
To coincide with the project, FHSU is also planning a renewable energy-related education program and will explore alternatives to export excess electricity.
Renewable energy engineering consultancy SgurrEnergy and wind turbine manufacturer Areva Wind have launched an offshore wind energy measurement campaign.
The initiative involves the deployment of three of SgurrEnergy’s G4000 Offshore Galion light detecting and ranging (LIDAR) devices on an Areva M5000-116 wind turbine located in an offshore test field in the German North Sea.
The campaign will also involve the simultaneous collection of wind data at multiple measurement points by three Galion devices that will provide detailed information on the wind resource before and after it interacts with the turbine. This data, along with that collected by the turbine itself, will produce a picture of inflowing wind and its influence throughout the structure of a turbine, from blades to foundations, the companies explain.
The project will take place over a period of three to six months, and SgurrEnergy’s Glasgow, Scotland-based wind analysis team will manage the measurement campaign remotely, controlling the Galions’ scan geometries, settings and timings. SgurrEnergy’s engineers will also be involved in the deployment and commissioning of each LIDAR device at the test site in Germany.
“The laser beam setup allows us to perform analysis of three specific areas of interest,” explains Jean Huby, CEO of Areva Wind. “First, the campaign will give a detailed overview of the inflowing wind field conditions over the entire rotor area. These data are essential for gust detection and to analyze the effectiveness of our single blade pitch concepts to reduce loads.
“Secondly, the campaign will be used to study wake effects downstream of the turbine to consider the overall impact on the wind farm,” Huby continues. “Finally, the deployment of the Galion from the lower-level platform will give us the unique possibility to carry out power performance assessments, enabling comparison of our turbines at different locations.”
Brookfield Renewable Energy Partners says it has completed a C$450 million financing round for the 166 MW Comber Wind Facility, located in Essex County, Ontario.
The project entered commercial operation in fall 2011 and has a 20-year power purchase agreement with the Ontario Power Authority.
The senior bonds bear an all-in interest rate of 5.13% and fully amortize over a period of 17.7 years, Brookfield says. Scotia Capital Inc. acted as the sole lead and bookrunner.
“The transaction was oversubscribed, with significant demand resulting in the participation of more than 25 investors,” notes Sachin Shah, the company’s chief financial officer. “As the first public wind deal in Canada, the offering attracted many institutions new to the sector and should help to increase and diversify future financing opportunities for renewable power companies and investors alike.”
Texas Wind Farm
E.ON Climate & Renewables (EC&R) North America has dedicated the 100 MW Anacacho Wind Farm, which is located in Kinney County, Texas.
The project is situated approximately 14 miles southeast of Brackettville and consists of 55 Vestas 1.8 MW wind turbines. More than 200 people were hired for the construction of the project, and the wind farm will create approximately eight permanent positions.
The project represents EC&R’s 18th operational wind farm in the U.S.
Transmission system operator TenneT has awarded a contract to Alstom for the DolWin3 offshore transmission project, which connects several North Sea wind farms to the mainland electric grid and has an investment volume of more than €1 billion.
As the general contractor for TenneT, Alstom will supply and construct both the onshore and offshore converter stations, as well as the connecting cable systems, for DolWin3. The project will use direct-current (DC) technology to deliver the energy generated at sea down an 83 km sea cable to the mainland.
From the coast, the wind power will then be transported another 79 km via an underground cable to the converter station in Dorpen/West in Lower Saxony, Germany.
In addition, Alstom has been awarded a five-year service contract covering the complete offshore converter station and platform, as well as the onshore converter system. The contract includes inspection, preventive and corrective maintenance, refurbishment and repair, spare-parts management, and a technology support line.
Alstom will work with platform constructor Nordic Yards and cable supplier Prysmian for the project.
DolWin3 is the eighth grid-connection project to be implemented by TenneT using DC technology. Together with three projects based on alternating-current technology, the grid operator will deliver a total of 6.2 GW of offshore wind energy to the mainland.
The DolWin3 project will be the third grid connection in the DolWin wind farm cluster in the southwestern region of the North Sea and will offer a capacity of 900 MW. The project will be completed in 2017.
juwi Wind LLC has completed the construction of the Community Wind South Project, located in Nobles County, Minn.
Approximately $67 million has been invested in the community to build the 30 MW wind project, which has been under development since 2003 and features 15 REpower MM92 2 MW turbines. The output from the project is being sold to Xcel Energy Inc. under a 20-year power purchase agreement.
The project secured construction and term debt financing from DZ Bank, which acted as the mandated lead arranger, and KfW IPEX, which was the lender. A BlackRock-managed fund joined juwi as a sponsor by acquiring the majority of project equity at commercial operation. A major tax-equity player committed renewable energy tax equity in support of the project in late 2012.
juwi Wind will manage the day-to-day operations of the Community Wind South project. w
Projects & Contracts
DOI Approves Searchlight Project
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