BP Wind Energy announced Tuesday that it had entered into two long-term power purchase agreements totaling 105 megawatts for its proposed Mehoopany Wind Farm in Wyoming County.
One agreement is for 75 megawatts with Old Dominion Electric Cooperative and a second with Southern Maryland Electric Cooperative Inc. is for 30 megawatts. The agreements were negotiated by the National Renewables Cooperative Organization.
The Mehoopany Wind Farm has been proposed in an area that stretches between Mehoopany and Noxen and is expected to generate up to 144-MW of energy and is anticipated to utilize approximately 90 General Electric 1.6-MW wind turbines. When complete, it will generate enough electricity to power more than 40,000 average American homes annually, BP Wind Energy spokesman Tom Mueller said.
He noted that the wind turbines would be sited in four townships – Noxen, Forkston, Mehoopany and Eaton – similar to a plan that BP Alternative Energy had proposed five years ago. At that time the Procter & Gamble Washington Twp. plant was contemplating being a primary purchaser of power generated from the proposed wind farm, but because of internal economic reasons at BP Alternative Energy, the wind farm plan was suspended in 2009.
In the meanwhile, Procter & Gamble learned that Marcellus Shale gas had been discovered on its property that it then developed. Procter & Gamble now has several gas wells producing within proximity of its Washington Twp. plant. While P&G’s interest in wind energy diminished locally, the existing substation at the P&G facility in Washington Twp. will be interconnected with the wind farm.
BP Wind Energy, which owns and will operate the wind farm, will market the remaining capacity to other customers in the Northeast U.S. merchant market.
“These agreements mark a milestone in the development of the Mehoopany Wind Farm and we look forward to making our first investment in a wind project in the state of Pennsylvania,” said BP Wind Energy Chief Executive Officer John Graham.
Jack Reasor, president and CEO of Old Dominion Electric Cooperative said he is pleased to add the wind farm to the company’s portfolio of purchased-power resources.
NRCO Chief Executive Officer Amadou Fall said they were interested in the Mehoopany project for some time and all the pieces finally fell in place.
Austin J. Slater, Jr., SMECO president and CEO, praised the clean and renewable aspects of wind energy and said the wind farm will give customer-member clean energy at an affordable rate.
Construction is slated to start in the fourth quarter of 2011, once all necessary permits are received. The wind farm is expected to move into full commercial operation in the fourth quarter of 2012.
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