Leeward Renewable Energy LLC has completed a full-scale repowering of its Mendota Hills Wind Farm, located in Lee County, Ill.
The repowering, as announced last year, included installing new foundations and turbines to maximize efficiency and extend the lifespan of the project. Leeward replaced 63 legacy Gamesa machines with 29 SG 2.6-126 wind turbines from Siemens Gamesa, increasing the capacity from approximately 50 MW to 76 MW. Siemens Gamesa is also providing operations and maintenance.
With these technology improvements, Leeward expects to increase reliability and performance and reduce operational costs of the project, which first entered operation in 2003.
Leeward has entered into a long-term power purchase agreement with Digital Reality, which will procure approximately 276,000 MWh of wind energy annually. Through the construction phase of Mendota, Leeward generated approximately 250 jobs and will increase its contribution to Lee County in the form of property tax payments.
“This was an ambitious project that is creating tremendous benefits and efficiency for our customers and Lee County,” comments Greg Wolf, Leeward Renewable Energy’s CEO.
Leeward achieved financial close with a subsidiary of Citi, which provided tax equity financing for the project.