Duke Energy Renewables, a commercial business unit of Duke Energy, has announced it will build two large-scale wind power facilities in South Texas totaling 400 MW. Vestas will supply 200 V110-2.0 MW turbines for the projects, representing the company's largest turbine order globally since 2010.
Duke Energy Renewables will build, own and operate the Los Vientos III and IV wind projects, sited approximately 100 miles west of Brownsville near Rio Grande City in Starr County. Each project will produce 200 MW, and turbine delivery is scheduled to begin in the first half of next year.
Vestas' factories in Colorado will manufacture blades, nacelles and towers for these projects. Overall, Vestas notes it has secured 870 MW of orders in the U.S. and Canada in 2013 among four turbine types.
Austin Energy will purchase the output and associated renewable energy credits from the wind farms under two 25-year agreements. The utility also buys the power from Duke's Los Vientos II project in Willacy and Cameron counties.
‘Austin Energy has among the most aggressive renewable energy goals in the country, and these two new wind projects with Duke Energy will help us meet our 35 percent renewable energy goal four years ahead of schedule,’ says Austin Energy General Manager Larry Weis. ‘They will also help push our wind portfolio to more than 1,000 MW, which is nearly a third of our total generation.’
Duke Energy Renewables will begin construction of the projects in the fourth quarter of this year, with an in-service date expected in early 2015 for Los Vientos III and mid-2016 for Los Vientos IV.
According to the company, the 400 MW produced by Los Vientos III and IV will bring Duke Energy's total wind-generated capacity to more than 2 GW.