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Firms plan wind farms worth $900M 

Credit:  By Kevin Welch | Amarillo Globe-News | October 3, 2014 | amarillo.com ~~

Just as the newest Texas Panhandle wind farm begins operations, two more have taken the step of inking interconnection agreements for projects that will cost almost $900 million.

Cross Texas Transmission, the company that built the transmission line Pattern Panhandle Wind 3 will connect to, filed an agreement with Public Utility Commission last month that said commercial operation should begin by Dec. 30, 2015. The project will consist of 108 Siemens turbines with capacities of 2.3 megawatts each for a total of 248 megawatts of capacity.

A megawatt is enough electricity to supply about 350 average Texas homes, according to industry sources.

The nameplate capacity is what a turbine could produce if it ran all day every day at peak capacity.

There are already two new Pattern wind farms north of Panhandle in Carson County near where this facility will be.

Pattern doesn’t discuss costs, but Ken Starcher at the Alternative Energy Institute at West Texas A&M University estimates it costs $2 million to cover construction costs per megawatt, putting the budget around $496 million.

Pattern Energy, based in San Francisco, has nine other wind farms in the United States, Canada and Chile.

An affiliate of Cielo Wind Power is developing another wind installation in Donley and Gray counties. The Salt Fork Wind Ranch will be in the northwest corner of Donley County, spilling into Gray County to the north, according to maps submitted for incentives.

Austin-based Cielo has developed four wind farms in Oldham County in recent years and other installations in Texas and New Mexico.

The facility will consist of 100 Vestas turbines with capacities of 2 megawatts, according to a PUC filing by Cielo Salt Fork and Cross Texas Transmission. The cost will be about $400 million, according to estimates. The installation will be starting trial operations by Nov. 11, 2015, and commercial operation on or before Dec. 15, 1015.

Electricity from both wind farms will go to cities downstate in the Electric Reliability Council of Texas grid.

The filings come on the heels of an Invenergy wind farm called the Miami Wind Energy Center in Roberts, Hemphill and Gray counties. It has a capacity of 288 megawatts. There are 156 General Electric turbines in the wind project.

Invenergy, based in Chicago, has 69 wind, solar and natural gas generation projects and energy storage facilities in operation, in construction or under contract, according to its website.

Source:  By Kevin Welch | Amarillo Globe-News | October 3, 2014 | amarillo.com

This article is the work of the source indicated. Any opinions expressed in it are not necessarily those of National Wind Watch.

The copyright of this article resides with the author or publisher indicated. As part of its noncommercial educational effort to present the environmental, social, scientific, and economic issues of large-scale wind power development to a global audience seeking such information, National Wind Watch endeavors to observe “fair use” as provided for in section 107 of U.S. Copyright Law and similar “fair dealing” provisions of the copyright laws of other nations. Send requests to excerpt, general inquiries, and comments via e-mail.

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