One wind farm led to another Wednesday with the announcement of Spinning Spur II during the dedication of Spinning Spur I just north and west of Vega.
“Spinning Spur II will bring about a new era in wind production as we begin to move power from the Panhandle, with its tremendous production capabilities, to the ERCOT grid where the demand for power is so great,” said Oldham County Judge Don Allred before the event.
The Electric Reliability Council of Texas runs the electric grid that covers about 75 percent of the state but not the Texas Panhandle. It includes the state’s largest cities. Sharyland Utilities and Cross Texas Transmission are building transmission lines in the Panhandle to connect to that grid.
The Spinning Spur wind farms are owned by EDF Renewable Energy, the U.S. subsidiary of EDF Energies Nouvelles which is based in France, and Google.
Cielo Wind Power of Austin helped develop the first project.
“Cielo and EDF Renewable Energy are in partnership on the continued development of Spinning Spur II” said Sandi Briner, spokeswoman for EDF.
The first Spinning Spur project sells its electricity for local consumption to Southwestern Public Service, a subsidiary of Xcel Energy, under a 15-year purchase agreement.
Each wind farm will have a capacity of 161 megawatts. A megawatt is enough electricity to supply about 350 average homes. However, wind farms would have to produce their maximum amount of power all day every day to meet their listed capacity.
According to industry estimates, it costs about $1 million for every megawatt of capacity to build a wind farm.
Spinning Spur II will continue the array of wind turbines belonging to different companies that starts east of Wildorado and runs westward past Vega. The line will stretch to near Adrian, or almost 30 miles, with the completion of the new project.
The new Spinning Spur will span about 16,800 acres with 87 turbines when it is complete in the summer of 2014, according to a news release. Construction should start in June.
“Launching our third project in Texas demonstrates confidence in the next wave of wind power’s growth and construction in the state,” said Tristan Grimbert, president and CEO of EDF Renewable Energy, on April 16 when his company bought Cielo’s 49 percent interest in Spinning Spur II.
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