CAW’s Wind Turbine
A wind turbine owned and operated by the Canadian Auto Workers Union (CAW) has begun operations in Port Elgin, Ontario.
“This is an important day, as the start-up of this wind turbine marks an environmental milestone for our union – this is the first union-owned and -operated wind turbine in Canada,” says CAW President Ken Lewenza.
The start of the turbine comes after nine years of planning, preparation, construction and testing. The CAW says that the wind turbine, erected on the grounds of the union’s Family Education Centre (FEC), will generate the equivalent of 50% to 60% of the FEC’s current energy needs.
Dutch Firm Set For
Netherlands-based Ballast Nedam has signed a contract for the installation of foundations at the EnBW Baltic 2 offshore wind farm with ARGE BALTIC 2 Foundations, a joint venture between HOCHTIEF Solutions AG, GeoSea N.V. and HOCHTIEF Offshore Crewing GmbH.
Located in the German Baltic Sea, the EnBW Baltic 2 project will comprise 80 wind turbines of 3.6 MW each, giving the wind farm a total capacity of 288 MW. Ballast Nedam will erect the project’s 39 monopile and transition piece foundations and provide the logistics between the feeder ports in Rostock and Lubmin and the Baltic 2 offshore wind farm.
The company will use its heavy lift vessel Svanen to install the project’s foundations, and installation for the vessel at Baltic 2 is planned for the second half of this year.
Harland And Wolff
E.ON has awarded Harland and Wolff Heavy Industries Ltd. a contract for the design and fabrication of the Humber Gateway offshore wind farm substation jacket.
E.ON is developing the 219 MW offshore wind farm, located 8 km off the East Yorkshire coast in the U.K. The Harland and Wolff, whose scope of work comprises the design and fabrication of the substation jacket and piles, says the jacket will be ready for installation in the first quarter of 2014.
The Humber Gateway is due to be completed in 2015.
Project Now Online
Seattle-based energy and facility services firm McKinstry and the owners of Swauk Creek Ranch – a privately owned, 3,865-acre reserve in Kittitas County, Wash. – have completed a 4.25 MW community wind farm.
The project consists of five Gamesa 850 kW G58 model wind turbines, and it is the first to be completed by McKinstry’s new turnkey development service for distributed generation projects. The company partnered with Puget Sound Energy to connect the wind project to the grid for local consumption.
“These five turbines represent forward thinking about energy development in our county,” says Kittitas County Commissioner Paul Jewell. “This project is a great example of the ways the county and property owners can work together to enhance our energy production independence, reduce energy costs and leverage local resources to build industry.”
The project was made possible in part through a $9 million allocation of Qualified Energy Conservation Bonds issued by the Washington State Housing Finance Commission. McKinstry says this was the first use of such bonds for private activity in Washington and the first of its kind for a wind project in the U.S.
E.ON Gets Financing
For Wildcat I
E.ON Climate & Renewables (EC&R) North America has secured institutional equity financing of approximately $174.9 million and a commitment to fund further capital contributions from a group of investors that includes J.P. Morgan and Wells Fargo Wind Holdings LLC in exchange for a partial interest in EC&R’s Wildcat I Wind Farm. J.P. Morgan acted as lead investor in the financing.
The project, located in Tipton and Madison counties, is EC&R’s first wind energy project in Indiana and began commercial operation in December. The project comprises 125 GE 1.6 MW turbines and provides more than 200 MW.
EC&R says it expects the project to generate more than $31 million in local taxes, pay $11 million in local salaries and earn landowners more than $73 million. At the height of construction, the Wildcat I Wind Farm project brought more than 200 jobs to the area, the company adds.
First Nations Partner
On Ontario Project
The Aamjiwnaang and Bkejwanong First Nations have jointly entered into a 50/50 partnership with Northland Power Inc., a Canadian independent power producer, to develop the 100 MW Grand Bend Wind Farm project.
The Grand Bend Wind Farm, located near Grand Bend, Ontario, will include up to 48 2.3 MW Siemens turbines. The Ontario Power Authority has awarded the wind project a 20-year contract under the province’s feed-in tariff (FIT) for renewable energy.
“Northland’s partnership with the Aamjiwnaang and Bkejwanong First Nations reflects our shared commitment to sustainability,” says Northland CEO John Brace. “We’re working together to create a stronger future – economically and environmentally. Thanks to the Ontario government for making such partnerships possible through incentives in the FIT and Aboriginal Loan Guarantee Programs. And thanks to our partners – we look forward to a long and mutually beneficial collaboration.”
At South Kent Wind
Renewable Energy Systems Canada Inc. (RES Canada) has started construction on the 270 MW South Kent Wind project. Located within the municipality of Chatham-Kent, Ontario, the project is being developed by Samsung Renewable Energy Inc. and Pattern Energy Group LP.
RES Canada was selected to serve as the general contractor and will oversee project management of all construction activities. The South Kent project includes 124 Siemens 2.3 MW turbines manufactured in Ontario, including towers from facilities in Windsor and blades from Tillsonburg.
South Kent Wind represents an investment of about $700 million in Ontario’s renewable energy infrastructure by Samsung Renewable Energy and Pattern Energy Group. Construction is expected to last approximately one year, with up to 500 workers expected on-site during peak construction.
Lone Star Builds
New CREZ Lines
Lone Star Transmission LLC, a subsidiary of NextEra Energy Inc., has energized approximately 330 miles of new 345 kV transmission lines and associated transmission facilities. The project runs from Scurry County, northwest of Abilene, Texas, to Navarro County, south of Dallas. Four circuits and five substations are a part of the new infrastructure.
Lone Star’s transmission lines are contributing to the state’s transmission grid improvement program, which will see the addition of approximately 2,300 miles of 345 kV lines designed to deliver power from the Competitive Renewable Energy Zones (CREZ) in West Texas and the Texas Panhandle to the Dallas/Fort Worth area and other population centers. Lone Star says it is the first new transmission utility to energize its CREZ facilities.
Halkirk Project Is
Online In Alberta
Renewable Energy Systems Canada Inc. (RES Canada) has announced the completion of Halkirk Wind, which the company says is the largest wind project completed to date in Alberta. The 150 MW project hosts 83 Vestas V90 1.8 MW turbines and is owned by Capital Power LP, a subsidiary of Capital Power Corp.
RES Canada served as the balance-of-plant contractor for Halkirk Wind. Despite the challenging environmental conditions presented by the extremes of Alberta’s winter and spring weather, RES Canada says it completed the project in just 14 months, on budget and ahead of schedule.
“RES Canada is proud to have constructed Alberta’s largest wind farm,” says Peter Clibbon, vice president of development at RES Canada. “The province has abundant wind resources, and we look forward to working on other projects like Halkirk, which will drive investment and create jobs.”
The $346 million project is located in central Alberta, near the town of Halkirk, and its electricity is sold into the province’s spot market. In addition, Pacific Gas and Electric Co. is purchasing the renewable energy credits under a 20-year, fixed-price agreement.
Cicero, Ill.-based Broadwind Energy Inc. has announced a $14 million order for towers from an unnamed U.S. wind turbine manufacturer. Broadwind will produce the towers in its Abilene, Texas, facility, with delivery scheduled for the second half of this year.
“Since the final months of 2012, we have announced $127 million in tower orders, and we are now pleased to report that our Abilene, Texas, plant is near capacity for 2013,” says Peter C. Duprey, president and CEO of Broadwind Energy. “We’ve seen a significant improvement in activity, and we are quoting orders for 2014 delivery as the wind energy industry recovers from the downturn at the end of 2012.”
EDF, Enbridge Buy
EDF EN Canada Inc., a subsidiary of EDF Energies Nouvelles, and Enbridge Inc. have jointly signed a purchase agreement with Greengate Power Corp. to acquire the 300 MW Blackspring Ridge wind project, located in Vulcan County, Alberta.
EDF EN Canada and Enbridge will each own 50% of the project, and the companies say Blackspring Ridge will be the largest wind farm in Western Canada when operational. The project, currently in late-stage development, will comprise 166 Vestas V100-1.8 MW wind turbines.
Vestas says this marks its largest turbine order in Canada, and the company has also secured a 20-year service and maintenance agreement.
EDF EN Canada will build the Blackspring Ridge project under a fixed-price engineering, procurement and construction contract, with construction expected to start in the second quarter of this year and reach commissioning in mid-summer 2014.
Renewable energy credits generated from the project are contracted to Pacific Gas and Electric under 20-year purchase agreements. The electricity will be sold into the Alberta power pool with pricing substantially fixed through mid- and long-term contracts.
Enel Taps GE
For Kansas Project
In partnership with global renewable energy company Enel Green Power, GE is investing common equity and supplying turbines for the 250 MW Buffalo Dunes wind project in Kansas.
GE unit GE Energy Financial Services now owns 51% of the Buffalo Dunes project, which is under construction southwest of Garden City, Kan. Enel Green Power North America, a subsidiary of Enel Green Power, maintains a 49% ownership stake, retains an option to increase this stake to 75% if elected during certain periods in 2013 and 2014, and serves as project manager.
In addition to capital, GE is supplying 135 wind turbines for the project and will provide operations and maintenance after completion. Construction, managed by RES Americas, is expected to be completed by December. Alabama Power Co. will buy most of the electricity from the project under a 20-year agreement.
This transaction expands GE Energy Financial Services’ and Enel Green Power North America’s portfolio of co-owned wind projects. Last year, the companies invested in the 235 MW Chisholm View wind project in Oklahoma and the 200 MW Prairie Rose wind project in Minnesota. Both projects also feature GE wind turbines.
Offshore Wind Study
Enters Third Year
Grand Valley State University’s Michigan Alternative and Renewable Energy Center (MAREC) has announced that it is readying for its third and final research season of offshore wind assessment.
The WindSentinel research buoy, which was constructed by AXYS Technologies and is equipped with a Vindicator laser wind sensor manufactured by Catch the Wind Inc., will be placed about seven miles offshore northwest of the Muskegon Channel in Lake Michigan.
The buoy will remain in the lake until December, where it will continuously collect data about offshore wind characteristics, along with meteorological, marine and avian data, to help assess the viability of commercial-scale wind energy generation in the Great Lakes.
The three-year study began in 2011, when the buoy went through a validation study on Muskegon Lake for two months, followed by two months of trials on Lake Michigan. In 2012, the buoy was placed 35 miles west of the Muskegon Channel at the mid-lake plateau in Lake Michigan and captured data at elevations between 90 and 175 meters above the lake surface.
The buoy uses laser pulse technology to capture wind measurements, which is the first time the technique has ever been used on a mobile research platform in open water, according to MAREC.
“Throughout this study, the technology has demonstrated an ability to capture quality wind measurement data as much as 98 percent of the time,” says Arnold Boezaart, director of MAREC. “We are getting excellent results.”
Project partners include researchers from Michigan Technological University, who are studying wind turbulence; Michigan Natural Features Inventory, a component of the Michigan State University Extension program, who are studying bird and bat activity and confirmed for the first time ever last summer that bats do fly over the Great Lakes; and the University of Michigan, who are conducting research on large data sets.
REpower Gets B.C.
Zero Emission Energy Developments (ZED) has signed a memorandum of understanding with REpower Systems Inc. for the supply of wind turbines for each of ZED’s five wind power generation projects across British Columbia.
ZED’s projects are located on Crown Land – one in the Peace River Regional District and the other four further south in the Thompson-Nicola and Okanagan-Similkameen Regional Districts. Each project has a nameplate capacity of 15 MW for a total rated output of 75 MW. ZED anticipates construction of these projects will begin in the fourth quarter of this year.
“We are very pleased to have been selected by ZED for these projects across British Columbia,” states Helmut Herold, CEO and managing director of REpower Systems Inc. “This marks our entry into Western Canada after successes in Ontario and Quebec.”
BP Taps EDF
For O&M Services
EDF Renewable Services has secured the operations and maintenance (O&M) contract at the 20 MW Edom Hills Wind Farm.
Owned and operated by a subsidiary of BP Wind Energy, Edom Hills is located in the San Gorgonio Pass near Palm Springs, Calif., and consists of eight Clipper Windpower 2.5 MW turbines.
“Our experience with the Clipper turbines in Oaxaca, Mexico, provides confidence that our O&M team will optimize availability for BP Wind Energy,” says Dalen Copeland, director of business development for EDF Renewable Services. “Our depth of expertise in the San Gorgonio wind regime, complemented by our large local workforce, uniquely positions us to provide a smooth transition with minimum interruption of operations.”
San Diego Gas & Electric (SDG&E) has signed two new power purchase agreements (PPAs) with TerraGen Development Co. LLC for a total of 14.7 MW of wind energy.
The two wind projects are located in Kern and Riverside counties, Calif. SDG&E notes that it has signed 36 renewable contracts totaling over 1.75 GW of generation capacity over the past two years, putting the utility in a position to maintain California’s 20% renewable portfolio standard (RPS) requirements in the 2011-to-2013 time frame and meet the 33% by 2020 RPS mandate.
“After starting with less than one percent renewable energy in 2002, SDG&E put an aggressive course of action in place to obtain competitively priced renewable power for our customers to meet California’s renewable requirements,” says James P. Avery, SDG&E senior vice president of power supply. “This has resulted in a well-balanced renewable portfolio that encompasses a broad spectrum of energy sources, including solar, wind, biomass, biogas and geothermal energy.”
Westminster, Colo.-based Tri-State Generation and Transmission Association has announced plans to expand the recently completed 67 MW Colorado Highlands Wind project to 91 MW.
The wind farm became operational in December 2012 and is jointly owned by Littleton, Colo.-based Alliance Power Inc. and GE Energy Financial Services. Tri-State, which receives all of the project’s energy under a 20-year agreement, says construction of 14 GE turbines is expected to begin in July and finish this fall.
“Colorado Highlands Wind has been performing extremely well since being brought online late last year,” comments Brad Nebergall, Tri-State senior vice president. “The original engineering and design accommodated up to 91 MW – which is the maximum that the existing transmission interconnection can support.
“So, now that the additional 14 turbines are available, we are pleased to move forward with its full build-out after Tri-State’s board of directors approved the expansion at its February 2013 meeting,” he adds.
Georgia Power PPA
Atlanta-based Georgia Power, a Southern Co. subsidiary, has entered into a power purchase agreement (PPA) with EDP Renewables North America to obtain 250 MW of wind energy from projects in Oklahoma.
According to the utility, the output from EDP’s Blue Canyon Phases II and VI wind farms will travel on the Southwest Power Pool via Entergy and be delivered to the Southern Co. system. Georgia Power says it will begin receiving electrons, as well as renewable energy certificates, from the projects in 2016.
“We are continuously evaluating energy options that provide the best overall economic value to our customers,” says Paul Bowers, president and CEO of Georgia Power. “Adding wind energy to our generation mix underscores our commitment to a diverse portfolio that offers clean, safe, reliable, sustainable and low-cost electricity for years to come.” w
Projects & Contracts
CAW’s Wind Turbine Now Operational
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