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The U.S. connected 6.1 gigawatts of wind power capacity to the grid in the first half of 2021, according to analysis by S&P Global Market Intelligence. The U.S. now has 127 GW of cumulative wind power capacity with a pipeline of 62 GW under development through 2025.
Here are the 10 largest wind farm projects completed in the U.S. (so far) in 2021, according to S&P Global Market Intelligence reports.
10. Texas Gulf Wind Repower – Kenedy, Texas
Pattern Energy Group began construction on the repowering of its Gulf Wind facility in December 2019, replacing existing wind turbines with 118 new Siemens Gamesa 2.3-MW turbines, for a total new installed capacity of 271 MW. The ultimate owner of the wind farm will be the Canada Pension Plan Investment Board.
The Gulf Wind facility entered into a new 20-year power purchase agreement with Austin Energy for the majority of the facility’s energy production. The remaining output will be sold at merchant power prices.
Over 25 years, Gulf Wind is expected to contribute approximately $90 million to the local economy through tax and landowner payments. The Gulf Wind facility sits on 9,600 acres leased from the Kenedy Memorial Foundation. All monies received by the Foundation support its charitable causes to fight poverty, boost education, and build stronger communities.
Gulf Wind began operation in 2009. In late August 2017, the facility withstood Hurricane Harvey, one of the strongest hurricanes to hit the area in recent history. Following the storm, when the facility was deemed undamaged and safe to resume operations, Gulf Wind returned to supplying much-needed energy to the Texas grid.
9. Las Majadas Wind Project – Willacy, Texas
EDF Renewables developed the 272 MW Las Majadas Wind Project in Willacy, Texas using 125 Vestas V120-2.2MW turbines. The project reached commercial operation in March 2021 in support of the Texas grid. In 2019, a subsidiary of an investment firm owned by the Abu Dhabi government, Masdar, purchased a 50% stake in the Las Majadas Wind Project, according to S&P Global Market Intelligence.
8. Aurora Wind Project – Williams, North Dakota
Enel Green Power North America developed, and now owns and operates, the 299 MW, 71-turbine Aurora Wind Project in Williams, North Dakota. The total project can generate approximately 1.3 terawatt-hours (TWh) annually, enough electricity to power over 100,000 homes.
In 2019, Global apparel retailer Gap Inc. signed a 90-MW virtual power purchase agreement (VPPA) for the Aurora Wind Project with Enel Green Power North America, marking one of the largest offsite renewable energy contracts by an apparel retailer.
The wind electricity output purchased by Gap Inc. from the 90 MW portion of Enel Green Power’s 299 MW Aurora project is expected to total approximately 374 gigawatt hours (GWh) each year. The company set a goal to reach 100% renewable energy across its global owned and operated facilities by 2030.
7. Milligan I Wind Project – Saline, Nebraska
Infrastructure and Energy Alternatives and EDF Renewables North America partnered to build the 299 MW Milligan 1 Wind Farm in Saline County in southeast Nebraska in 2019. Enel Group is the ultimate owner of the project, according to S&P.
The power generated by the project’s planned 99 turbines will be delivered into the Southwest Power Pool electrical grid.
The wind farm, which is located near Nebraska’s capital city of Lincoln, will draw upon power generated from a combination of Vestas V110, Siemens 129 and Siemens 145 turbines.
6. Neosho Ridge Wind Project – Neosho, Kansas
Liberty Utilities completed its purchase of the 139-turbine, 300 MW Neosho Ridge Wind Project in May. The project is expected to generate savings of $169 million for customers over a 20-year period and $300 million over a 30-year period, according to the utility.
5. Deuel Harvest Wind Farm – Deuel, South Dakota
Southern Power acquired the 301 MW Deuel Harvest Wind Farm project in Deuel, South Dakota in May — it’s 14th wind project. The project consists of 109 wind turbines manufactured by GE Renewable Energy.
The wind farm reached commercial operation on Feb. 23, 2021. Electricity and renewable energy credits from the project are being sold to Great River Energy and Xcel Energy through power purchase agreements. Southern Power remains the majority owner, while Invenergy has a minority stake in the project.
4. Frontier Windpower II Project – Kay, Oklahoma
Duke Energy owns the 350 MW Frontier Windpower II project in Kay, Oklahama, an expansion of the 220-MW Frontier Windpower project that has been in operation since 2016. In total, Frontier I and II are expected to generate 550 MW of wind energy, enough to power 193,000 homes.
Nordex Group supplied 74, 4.8-MW wind turbines to the project.
AT&T and Ball Corp. each signed 15-year virtual power purchase agreements for wind energy generated at Frontier II.
3. Isabella Wind Project – Isabella, Michigan
Apex Clean Energy announced commercial operation and the sale of the 384 MW Isabella Wind Project in Isabella, Michigan to DTE Energy in May, 2021.
The project serves commercial customers — including Ford, General Motors, and the University of Michigan — through DTE’s voluntary renewable energy program. Isabella Wind Project will generate $30 million in tax revenue and $100 million in landowner payments over the life of the project.
2. Jordan Creek Wind Farm – Warren, Indiana
NextEra Energy owns the 400-MW Jordan Creek Wind Farm in Warren, Indiana, featuring 146 GE wind turbines.
The project provides approximately $75 million in payments to landowners and generates approximately $590 million in tax revenue for Benton and Warren counties.
1. Maverick Creek Wind Project – Concho, Texas
The project is located in a particularly favorable wind area in central Texas, which is the leading state in the U.S. for wind energy production. RES developed the project, which is owned by Algonquin Power & Utilities Corp.
In 2019, Minnesota-based food producer General Mills signed a 15-year virtual power purchase agreement with Roaring Fork Wind LLC, a joint venture between RES and Steelhead Americas, for 200 MW of power generated at the project.
The wind farm will produce renewable energy credits that, combined with the company’s previous agreement, should equal 100 percent of electricity used annually at General Mill’s domestic facilities, according to a release.
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Author: John Engel
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