Renewable energy consulting services firm Vaisala has partnered with Xcel Energy to provide due diligence services for the 600 MW Rush Creek Wind Farm.
Once completed, the wind farm will be the largest in Colorado, says Vaisala. The project will be entirely owned and operated by the Public Service Co. of Colorado, a subsidiary of Xcel Energy.
In order to help preserve $125 million in production tax credits (PTC), Xcel Energy must begin work on the project before the end of this year, according to Vaisala.
“Vaisala worked fast,” noted Gerald Kelly, project manager for Rush Creek at Xcel Energy. “They are flexible, and they met our deadline.”
Vaisala’s due diligence reports for the project included a detailed analysis of meteorological observations at the project sites, weather simulation, expected energy production and uncertainties surrounding generation predictions.
The purpose of Vaisala’s reports was to characterize expected generation at the Rush Creek site and, in the process, create investor certainty for Xcel Energy. Vaisala’s report concluded that the Rush Creek Wind Farm I site is expected to produce just over 2,311 GWh on an annual basis – enough to power more than 200,000 homes.
Vaisala notes that this total accounts for real-world effects that can cause wind farm energy losses, including availability issues, wake effects, line losses, and turbine inefficiencies and degradation.
“We’re proud to have provided our due diligence services to Xcel Energy on its flagship Rush Creek Wind Farm, one that will inject an estimated $1 billion into the Colorado economy and be among the largest wind projects in the state,” said Matthew Hendrickson, Vaisala’s global manager of energy assessment. “As Colorado aims to source almost a third of its electricity from renewable sources by 2020, Rush Creek represents a major step forward toward meeting that goal.”