RWE Renewables, an international provider of renewable energy, has partnered with GE Renewable Energy to repower its Panther Creek III wind farm. Panther Creek III came online in August 2009 and was the last of a three-phase project in West Texas located in Sterling, Howard and Glasscock Counties.
The repowering of Panther Creek III includes the replacement of a significant portion of the wind turbine components, including installation of longer blades and upgrading existing gearboxes. The refurbishment effectively increases the annual production for all 133 wind turbine generators (WTGs) on the site, having a total installed capacity of 215 MW.
“Repowering Panther Creek III allows us to increase our earnings for this site,” says Silvia Ortin, COO of onshore wind and solar PV Americas at RWE Renewables. “In addition, we are able to capture up-to-date turbine efficiency improvements, extending the lifetime of this facility. Panther Creek III has been an excellent performer for us in the past and we are able to employ lessons learned from our previous repowering of Panther Creek I and Panther Creek II wind farms to improve reliability.”
The blades that are removed during the repowering will be processed and recycled as a part of GE Renewable Energy’s blade recycling agreement with Veolia North America. Veolia will process the blades for use as a raw material for cement, utilizing a cement kiln co-processing technology. Nearly 90% of the blade material, by weight, will be reused as a repurposed engineered material for cement production.
The erection and commissioning of the project is expected to be complete in third quarter. This is the third repowering project RWE has commissioned with GE Renewable Energy. Panther Creek I (142.5 MW) and Panther Creek II (115.5 MW) – with a total of 172 WTGs – were repowered in the third quarter of 2019.
Photo: Panther Creek III wind farm