Alterra Power Makes Headway On Texas Wind Development
Vancouver, British Columbia-based Alterra Power Corp. has inked several project contracts at Flat Top, a 200 MW wind development project located in Comanche County and Mills County, Texas.
Contracts executed recently include as follows:
- A turbine supply agreement with Vestas to supply 100 V110-2.0 MW wind turbines;
- A 10-year service and maintenance agreement with Vestas, which provides similar services at Alterra’s Dokie wind farm; and
- A construction services agreement with Blattner Energy Inc., a contractor that built the nearby Logan’s Gap wind farm.
Alterra is also currently negotiating a power hedge as Flat Top’s primary revenue contract.
“The execution of these contracts positions us well to finance Flat Top and enter the primary construction phase later [in 2017],” comments Paul Rapp, Alterra’s vice president of wind. “We look forward to working with Vestas and Blattner as strong partners to ensure the project comes online successfully in the first half of 2018.”
Saskatchewan Wind Farm Switches To New Site
SaskPower and Algonquin Power have agreed on a change of location for a 177 MW wind project in Saskatchewan.
The project was originally planned for a site near Chaplin; however, the site needed to be changed due to environmental concerns, the companies say.
Now, with support from SaskPower and in accordance with guidelines established by the Saskatchewan Ministry of Environment, Algonquin has selected the Blue Hills area, which is located between Herbert and Neidpath in southwest Saskatchewan.
“The Blue Hills project plays a key role in our ability to achieve our goal of doubling our renewable generating capacity by 2030,” says Mike Marsh, SaskPower’s president and CEO. “We’re expecting wind power to make up about 30 percent of our capacity within that same time frame, so we anticipate there will be many more opportunities for wind and other renewable energy projects in the future.”
The project will now proceed to the regulatory review permitting process through the Ministry of Environment, the companies say. An in-service date is expected for 2020.
Operations Commence For Cimarron Bend
Enel Green Power North America Inc. (EGP-NA) has completed the first 200 MW of the largest wind project in Enel Green Power’s global portfolio – the 400 MW Cimarron Bend wind farm in Clark County, Kan.
Cimarron Bend, which began construction in April 2016 and is now operational, was developed with Kansas-based Tradewind Energy, a longtime strategic partner of EGP-NA. The companies have partnered to develop numerous wind projects throughout the Midwest, including EGP-NA’s four other wind projects in the state: Caney River in Elk County; Smoky Hills I & II in Ellsworth and Lincoln counties; and the Buffalo Dunes wind farm in Finney, Grant and Haskell counties.
“The state of Kansas celebrates this milestone for the Cimarron Bend wind project,” says Antonio Soave, secretary of the state’s department of commerce. “The strategic development partnership between Tradewind Energy and Enel Green Power has been an economic success story for Kansas.”
The power and renewable energy credits from Cimarron Bend will be sold under two 200 MW long-term power purchase agreements: one with Google and the other with the Kansas City Board of Public Utilities. Cimarron Bend is the first of EGP-NA’s wind projects to sell a portion of the power produced to a corporate off-taker.
Michigan PSC OKs Pine River
The Michigan Public Service Commission recently approved a contract between DTE Electric Co. and Pine River Wind Engineering LLC to build the Pine River Wind Park.
Pine River will design, engineer, construct, install, start up and test the project, which will be located in Pine River Township in Gratiot County and Coe Township in Isabella County.
The wind farm will comprise 65 wind turbines capable of generating 161.3 MW of energy.
It will begin operation on or before Dec. 31, 2018. After construction is completed, Pine River will transfer ownership to DTE Energy.
Utility Finalizes Power Purchase Deal
NorthWestern Energy recently entered into an agreement with WKN Montana II to purchase the power from the 80 MW Vivaldi Springtime Wind Project in Montana.
After extensive negotiations between the developer and NorthWestern Energy, the price to be paid for the power will be $37.63/MWh. The wind farm is expected to begin construction in the second quarter of 2017 and to be completed by the first quarter of 2018.
The project will be situated in Stillwater County, located approximately 11 miles north of Reed Point. It will include 26 to 35 turbines (depending on the manufacturer).
“This project is a great balance between the need for local economic development and the need for affordable electricity in our local communities,” says Maureen Davey, commissioner of Stillwater County.
North Dakota’s Thunder Spirit To Grow
ALLETE Clean Energy has announced plans to work with Montana-Dakota Utilities (MDU) to expand the Thunder Spirit Wind project in North Dakota from 107.5 MW to 150 MW.
ALLETE Clean Energy secured a 25-year power purchase agreement with MDU to purchase energy from the expansion near Hettinger, located about 100 miles southwest of Bismarck. Under the agreement, MDU also has the option to purchase the expansion when it is complete (as it did with the first phase of Thunder Spirit).
In 2014, ALLETE Clean Energy acquired the rights to build the project’s 107.5 MW first phase, which comprises 43 turbines. After the project was completed in 2015, MDU bought Thunder Spirit from ALLETE Clean Energy for $200 million.
MDU has granted ALLETE Clean Energy the right to develop the 13- to 16-turbine Thunder Spirit expansion. Major construction on the $85 million project is expected to start in May 2018.
ALLETE notes it has qualified the Thunder Spirit expansion site for federal renewable energy production tax credits.
Nicole Kivisto, president and CEO of MDU, says, “We are in need of additional energy to meet our growing demands, and with the easements, interconnection to the grid and permits already in place from the first phase of Thunder Spirit Wind, it makes this a great project for Montana-Dakota.”
Innergex Begins Quebec Operations
Innergex Renewable Energy Inc. and the three Mi’gmaq communities of Quebec have announced that the 150 MW Mesgi’g Ugju’s’n wind farm, located in Gaspesie, Quebec, has begun commercial operation.
As reported, the project is owned by the Mesgi’g Ugju’s’n Wind Farm LP, an entity controlled 50-50 by the three Mi’gmaq communities of Quebec – Gesgapegiag, Gespeg and Listuguj – and by Innergex, which was in charge of the management of the construction and will be responsible for the operation of the wind farm.
Innergex says the project, located on public lands in the Avignon regional county municipality, features 46 Senvion 3.2M114 turbines and one MM92 machine. Construction began in May 2015 and was completed within budget.
“The completion of construction represents a historic moment for our assembly, the Mi’gmawei Mawiomi and the Mi’gmaq communities,” notes Troy Jerome, outgoing president of the board for the Mesgi’g Ugju’s’n wind farm.
“By employing 110 workers from the Mi’gmaq community during the construction of the project, we have shown that such projects can contribute to the social and economic development of the Mi’gmaq communities. With the start of electricity generation, four Mi’gmaq technicians are also at work on a full-time basis as part of the team that will keep these turbines maintained and running. We also extend our recognition to the project’s two main contractors, Borea construction and Senvion, for their efforts in attaining these employment goals,” adds Jerome.
Michel Letellier, president and CEO of the corporation, says, “It is an honor for Innergex to have been chosen as a partner for the Mesgi’g Ugju’s’n project, particularly since it is the first wind project completed in partnership with an Indigenous Nation in Quebec. It is a project of an exceptional scale that was developed under the leadership of the Mi’gmaq communities.”
The average annual production of the Mesgi’g Ugju’s’n wind farm is estimated to reach 562,500 MWh, enough to power approximately 30,000 Quebec households each year. In its first full year of operation, it is expected to generate revenues and adjusted EBITDA of approximately C$59.6 million and C$52.5 million, respectively.
All of the electricity the facility will produce is covered by a 20-year, fixed-price power purchase agreement with Hydro-Quebec, which provides for an annual adjustment to the selling price based on a portion of the consumer price index.
Vestas Receives Its First Repowering Order
Vestas has received a firm and unconditional order for its first repowering project in the U.S.
The order includes 29 MW of V110-2.0 MW turbine components that will enable future repowering efforts within the undisclosed customer’s operating project portfolio.
The turbine components, which will be manufactured at Vestas’ Colorado factories, will be delivered beginning this year.
Vestas says repowering existing and aging wind projects with new technology is expected to increase over the coming years, considering repowering offers substantial returns from increased annual energy production and reduced operating costs.
In other company news, Longroad Energy Holdings LLC has purchased Vestas wind turbine components that will qualify more than 600 MW of U.S. projects for 100% of the federal production tax credit if they are placed in service before the end of 2020.
Longroad expects to use the components to qualify projects in its own pipeline, as well as projects that may be currently owned by other developers or project owners.
Founded in 2016, Longroad Energy Holdings LLC is focused on renewable energy project development. The company also provides asset management and operations services.
“Given the increasingly competitive position of wind power in certain markets, this is an important step in creating growth opportunities for Longroad,” says Paul Gaynor, CEO of Longroad. “We look forward to bringing low-cost projects to the market.”
BayWa r.e. Wind Completes Acquisition
BayWa r.e. Wind LLC has completed its third project acquisition of 2016, having purchased the late-stage Greycliff project from its original owners, which include National Renewable Solutions LLC (NRS) of Minneapolis.
As reported, all assets are held in Big Timber Wind LLC, and BayWa will immediately begin the construction of the project, which is slated to be placed into service this year.
With a capacity of 25 MW, the project will deploy GE turbines and sell the energy under a long-term power purchase agreement to NorthWestern Energy.
“With this third acquisition added to our pipeline, construction completion of our Chopin project and safe harboring of turbines, we are wrapping up quite an eventful year and see ourselves well positioned for future growth,” says Florian Zerhusen, CEO of BayWa. “This is the second project we acquired from NRS, and we are looking forward to a successful completion [this year].”
Patrick Pelstring, CEO of NRS, Greycliff’s former developer, says, “After several years in the making, NRS, alongside our partners in the project – Montana Wind Resources and the Hobble Diamond Ranch – are pleased to see the Greycliff project move to construction with BayWa r.e., which, when operating, will generate substantial benefits to Sweet Grass County.”
He adds, “This project brings our development portfolio to over 540 MW of completed or ‘construction-ready’ sales and is an important milestone for our company.” w