The US development subsidiary of European renewables group Good Energies is planning a 990MW wind project that would be the largest in America.
The Wilson Creek Wind Project would be built on some 125.5sq km of federal land located 32km northeast of Pioche, Nevada, and 150 miles (241km) from Las Vegas.
Wilson Creek Power Partners says in its application to the Public Utilities Commission of Nevada (PUCN) that the area, encompassing Mt. Wilson, Table Mountain, White Rock Mountain and Atlanta Summit, has “above average wind speeds”.
It is near existing and proposed transmission links, including the One Nevada Transmission Line, allowing access to utilities throughout the state and elsewhere in the West.
Moreover, the site is sparsely populated and the land is used mainly for cattle grazing, according to the application.
Wilson Creek acquired the rights to the project area from another developer, the company says.
The application describes a project consisting of up to 350 turbines, buried power collection lines, communication cables, access roads, meteorological towers, one or more substations and switchyards, an operation and maintenance building and an overhead transmission line, among other facilities.
Wilson Creek would be larger than Caithness Energy’s Shepherds Flat, a 845MW project under construction in Oregon, featuring 2.5MW turbines from General Electric.
The developer is a subsidiary of Champlin/GEI Wind Holdings, jointly owned by Champlin Windpower and Good Energies, which is the renewable energy subsidiary of European holding company COFRA. Good Energies subsidiaries were a top customer of GE in Europe, according to the company’s website.
Good Energies says it aims to invest up to $1.5bn of development capital in North American renewable energy projects and companies.
The developer is seeking approval to build the project under Nevada’s Utility Environmental Protection Act, which follows a two-step process for projects that are also reviewed by a federal agency. The federal Bureau of Land Management is also preparing an environmental analysis of Wilson Creek.