The Michigan Public Service Commission has approved Detroit-based DTE Energy’s contract to purchase 20 MW of renewable energy from a subsidiary of Heritage Sustainable Energy, a Michigan-based wind power producer.
The energy produced for DTE Energy under the 20-year contract will come from Big Turtle Wind Farm LLC, which will cover 2,800 acres in Huron County, Mich. DTE Energy will purchase all of the power produced at the wind park, expected to be operational by late 2014.
DTE Energy notes the wind park will comprise a minimum of 50% Michigan content and feature new technology advanced by Ventower Industries of Monroe and other Michigan suppliers. The Big Turtle Wind Farm will have 10 2 MW turbines and will be the first wind park in Michigan to incorporate all Ventower towers, DTE adds.
The contract is part of DTE Energy’s efforts to expand the company’s renewable energy resources and meet the state’s 10% by 2015 renewable energy standard. The deal will bring DTE Energy’s renewable energy portfolio, with contracts signed or projects in operation, to 9.8%.
Vestas has secured an 80 MW order out of a master supply agreement (MSA) with EDF Renewable Energy for multiple wind energy projects in the U.S. Vestas says it could ultimately supply EDF Renewable Energy up to 750 MW overall.
Deliveries and commissioning for the projects, which will use the V100-2.0 MW turbine, are expected to occur in 2014 and 2015. The new projects’ names and specific locations were not disclosed.
Vestas’ factories in Colorado will be involved in manufacturing blades, nacelles and towers for these projects. Earlier this year, the company secured a contract with EDF EN Canada, along with Enbridge, to deliver 166 V100-1.8 MW turbines for the Blackspring Ridge Wind Project in Alberta, Canada.
“This agreement builds on the long-standing relationship between our two companies in Europe, as well as recent collaboration in North America through the Blackspring Ridge project in Alberta,” comments Ryan Pfaff, executive vice president of EDF Renewable Energy. “With the MSA in place, EDF Renewable Energy is well positioned to progress key U.S. wind projects that will support near-term domestic manufacturing and construction jobs and provide competitively priced, clean energy for our nation’s long-term energy security.”
Vestas notes each project will feature a multi-year Active Output Management (AOM) 5000 service agreement for up to six years. AOM 5000 is the company’s energy-based availability guarantee, and the service option includes the VestasOnline surveillance system that remotely controls and monitors the turbines and predicts potential wear-and-tear issues, the company adds.
On Sept. 12, EDF Renewable Energy also announced a turbine supply agreement with GE for up to 200 MW of wind turbines for U.S. projects beginning construction this year.
HVDC Line To Tie
Ontario To U.S.
Lake Erie Power Corp. (LEPC), an independent energy transmission developer, has announced plans to build an underwater high-voltage direct-current (HVDC) transmission project connecting Ontario to Pennsylvania. The company says the Lake Erie CleanPower Connector would help meet the growing demand for electricity in the state and PJM grid.
According to LEPC, the transmission project would bring hydroelectric, wind, solar, natural gas and nuclear energy to the PJM grid, which supplies electricity to 13 states and the District of Columbia. The Lake Erie CleanPower Connector would entail placing two solid, six-inch transmission cables beneath Lake Erie, from Nanticoke, Ontario, to Erie County, Pa., a distance of approximately 65 miles.
The privately funded transmission project is estimated to cost $1 billion, and commissioning is targeted by the end of 2017.
However, LEPC notes the project requires approval by 2015. To achieve this, the company says it is holding a series of meetings with local, state and federal agencies, as well as environmental groups and local residents, to discuss the project and help alleviate concerns.
EDF Names GE
EDF Renewable Energy has executed a turbine supply agreement (TSA) with GE for up to 200 MW of wind turbines. The agreement covers the supply of GE 1.85 MW models for U.S. wind projects beginning construction this year.
The first turbines under the TSA will be deployed at the Hereford Wind Project in the Texas Panhandle. EDF and Lincoln Renewable Energy, a developer of wind and solar projects, have executed a membership interest purchase agreement, under which EDF will acquire the first phase (200 MW) of the Hereford project, as well as an option agreement for a total of up to 500 MW. Additionally, EDF has successfully secured a long-term hedge on the first phase.
“The execution of the turbine supply agreement, along with the closing of a long-term hedge, are important elements of our near-term U.S. wind business plan,” says Ryan Pfaff, executive vice president of EDF Renewable Energy.
EDF Renewable Energy says its U.S. portfolio spans 16 states with 4 GW of developed projects and an installed capacity of almost 2 GW.
Lac-Alfred Phase 2
EDF EN Canada Inc., a subsidiary of EDF Energies Nouvelles, has commissioned the 150 MW second phase of the Lac-Alfred Wind Project in Quebec.
The 300 MW Lac-Alfred project was constructed in two phases, 150 MW each, comprising a total of 150 wind turbines supplied by REpower and made with regionally manufactured blades, towers and converters. Lac-Alfred Phase 1 was commissioned in January.
With an investment of about C$700 million, the project created more than 350 jobs during the construction phase and will provide 15 permanent operations and maintenance jobs, according to EDF. Enbridge Inc. is co-owner of Lac-Alfred through a 50% investment.
Hydro-Quebec will buy the project’s output under 20-year power purchase agreements. Lac-Alfred represents one of the seven wind energy projects in total awarded to EDF Canada in 2008 and 2010 through Hydro-Quebec Distribution calls for tenders. By the end of 2015, the company says it will have developed and built over 1 GW in the province.
To First Wind
Westerly Wind, through its subsidiary Westerly Route 66 LLC and development partner Big Sky Wind Energy LLC, has sold a project in Texas to a subsidiary of First Wind Holdings LLC.
Route 66 Wind Power is a late-stage wind farm development project located on approximately 20,000 acres in Armstrong and Carson Counties, east of Amarillo, Texas. According to Westerly, Route 66 Wind Power has the potential capacity of up to 200 MW and is expected to deliver energy to the ERCOT power markets through the new Competitive Renewable Energy Zone transmission system.
“The Route 66 Wind Power project is well positioned to capture the excellent wind resource in the Texas Panhandle, and we are pleased to have sold this project to an experienced wind farm owner-operator such as First Wind,” comments Westerly CEO Steve Schauer.
Names EPC Provider
Michigan-based utility Consumers Energy has signed a contract with Barton Malow Co. for engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) services at its $255 million Cross Winds Energy Park, a 105 MW wind farm in Tuscola County. The contract is subject to approval by the Michigan Public Service Commission.
In June, Consumers Energy signed a deal with GE to supply 62 1.7 MW wind turbines for the project. The utility expects 150 construction jobs will be created when Cross Winds begins construction later this year and into 2014.
Cross Winds is the company’s second wind farm. The 100 MW Lake Winds Energy Park began operating near Ludington in November 2012. Consumers Energy says completion of Cross Winds by late 2014 will help the company meet Michigan’s renewable energy standard, which requires 10% of the state’s energy supply to come from renewable sources by 2015.
First Wind Signs As
Boston-based First Wind Energy LLC, which is developing high-capacity wind generation projects in central New Mexico, has signed a letter of intent to reserve up to 1.5 GW of transmission capacity from the SunZia Southwest Transmission Project.
According to developer SunZia Transmission LLC, its extra-high-voltage transmission project will help enable the delivery of energy, including renewable resources, to customers in the Desert Southwest.
The system will span approximately 500 miles between Arizona and New Mexico. It includes up to two new 500 kV transmission lines and five electrical substations that will provide up to 3 GW of new capacity. Once all permits have been obtained, SunZia says final design and engineering, acquisition of rights-of-way and construction are scheduled to begin in 2014, with initial operation scheduled by 2016.
“Wind is one of New Mexico’s valuable energy resources. If SunZia can resolve its siting challenges, First Wind plans to accelerate the development of this project in central New Mexico,” says Kurt Adams, First Wind’s executive vice president and chief development officer.
The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) has led the preparation of an environmental impact statement (EIS) on the SunZia project since May 2009. The final EIS was issued by the BLM in June, and SunZia says it expects a record of decision by October. The issuance of this decision will culminate nearly five years of environmental study and examination of the project, the company adds.
New Mexico Project
BayWa r.e. Wind LLC, a California-based turnkey developer and operator of renewable energy projects, has entered into a purchase and sale agreement with community wind developer National Renewable Solutions to acquire the development assets for the Broadview Wind Project in New Mexico.
The 19.8 MW project, to be located on 3,600 acres in Curry County, will consist of 12 1.65 MW V82 Vestas turbines. The project will participate in a payment in lieu of taxes program benefiting the City of Grady and public schools in Curry County on a 20-year basis. It is expected to start construction in the fourth quarter of this year.
“With the expiration of the [production tax credit] fast approaching, BayWa r.e. is pleased to have expanded its pipeline of late-stage acquisitions,” comments Florian Zerhusen, CEO of BayWa r.e. Wind LLC.
In accordance with BayWa r.e.’s custom of naming projects after well-known composers, the company has named the project Brahms Wind LLC after German composer Johannes Brahms.
Mexico Wind Farm
EDF EN Mexico, a subsidiary of EDF Energies Nouvelles, has commissioned the 164 MW Bii Stinu wind farm.
The Bii Stinu project is located in Oaxaca, Mexico, where EDF EN Mexico already operates the 67.5 MW La Mata Ventosa wind farm. This new facility comprises 82 2 MW turbines from Gamesa. EDF EN Mexico and Mitsui & Co. Ltd., via its subsidiary MIT Renewables Mexico, jointly own the project.
A set of international and Mexican groups, including Arcelor Mittal Steel Lazaro Cardenas, Walmart Mexico, Grupo Modelo, Grupo Herdez and Continental Automotive Guadalajara, will buy the wind farm’s output through 15-year power purchase agreements.
With the commissioning of this latest project, EDF Energies Nouvelles’ installed capacity in Mexico now stands at 231.5 MW gross, with another 160 MW currently under construction.
The developers behind a Saskatchewan community wind project have partnered with Canadian electricity supplier Bullfrog Power.
Saskatoon Community Wind Energy says the site, which has yet to be confirmed, will be located within 15 to 30 kilometers of Saskatoon, where there are greater wind resources than within the city limits. Bullfrog Power is supporting the project through its Bullfrog Builds Renewable Accelerator program, which provides financing to help in the construction and development phases of new projects. Bullfrog is supporting the early-stage project development phase of Saskatoon Community Wind’s initiative as the project’s founding development sponsor.
The project aims to construct a wind farm with 10 wind turbines that would generate electricity for 16,000 Saskatoon residents.
By developing unsubsidized, renewable electricity generation, Saskatoon Community Wind’s proposed wind farm would displace thermally generated electricity and significantly reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
“Over the last year, we have achieved an enormous amount with very limited funds. Bullfrog’s support comes at a critical time in the development phase and will strengthen our ongoing operations,” says James Glennie, president of Saskatoon Community Wind. “For months, we have been speaking about the enormous economic, social and environmental benefits of what we are proposing. With its experience advancing renewable power in Canada, Bullfrog’s contribution of significant financial and reputational support is a testament to this project’s potential.”
To encourage community support, Saskatoon Community Wind held a public meeting on Sept. 12 to provide more information on the project. w
Projects & Contracts
Regulators OK DTE Purchase
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