Akamai To Source Energy From Seymour Hills Wind
Cloud delivery platform provider Akamai Technologies says it will source enough energy from the 80 MW Seymour Hills Wind Farm to offset its aggregate Texas data center operations, representing approximately 7% of its global power load. It’s part of Akamai’s commitment to source renewable energy for 50% of its global network operations by 2020.
Based outside of Dallas and developed by Infinity Renewables, the project is slated to go online in 2018. Plans for the development call for the construction of 38 wind turbines across approximately 8,000 acres, according to Akamai.
Akamai says its 20-year investment places it at the forefront of an emerging trend in which mid-market corporations are investing in renewable energy projects as a means to decarbonize their operations.
“Akamai has been seeing a strong trend with customers that value and demand clean-powered, decarbonized services from their supply chains,” says Jim Benson, Akamai’s executive vice president and chief financial officer, in a statement. “This project is one of several in which Akamai plans to invest to reach our 50 percent goal. Only recently have companies like Akamai, with small, distributed loads relative to big buyers like Apple, Google and Amazon, been able to make a meaningful impact on decarbonizing operations that go beyond purchasing unbundled renewable energy credits. We believe our innovative procurement strategy can be a model for others, and we’re excited to help lead the way.”
EGPNA’s Thunder Ranch Begins Construction
Enel Green Power North America (EGPNA) has started construction of the 298 MW Thunder Ranch wind farm, located in Garfield, Kay and Noble Counties, Okla.
The wind farm, which is owned by EGPNA subsidiary Thunder Ranch Wind Project LLC, is expected to enter into service by the end of 2017. Once fully operational, Thunder Ranch will be able to generate more than 1,100 GWh annually. The wind farm will be supported by long-term agreements for the sale of power and renewable energy credits, the company notes.
According to EGPNA, the overall investment in the construction of Thunder Ranch amounts to approximately $435 million, which is part of the investment outlined in EGPNA’s current strategic plan, and will be financed through the Enel Group’s own resources.
EGPNA currently ranks as the second-largest wind energy operator in Oklahoma, where it recently started construction at its new 300 MW Red Dirt wind project. The company already operates the wind farms Rocky Ridge (150 MW), Chisholm View I & II (300 MW in total), Origin (150 MW), Osage Wind (150 MW), Little Elk (74 MW), Goodwell (200 MW), and Drift Sand (108 MW) for a total capacity of more than 1.1 GW and overall investment of nearly $2 billion.
Bearkat Construction Kicks Off On Farmland
The initial phase of 197.6 MW of the Bearkat Wind Energy Project in Texas has reached financial close, received funding and begun construction, Dallas-based Tri Global Energy (TGE) has announced.
Located on 30,000 leased acres of privately owned farm and ranch land in Glasscock County, Bearkat is now owned by a fund managed by Copenhagen Infrastructure Partners (CIP), based in Denmark.
TGE developed Bearkat using its proprietary business model, the Wind Force Plan, which allows local landowners and community investors the opportunity to partner with and have a substantial ownership in wind farms being leased on their land.
“We are very pleased to collaborate with CIP on this project and support them in achieving this important milestone,” comments John Billingsley, chairman and CEO of TGE. “We look forward to supporting CIP on subsequent phases of the Bearkat Wind Project and expanding our relationship with them on several other community-sponsored, utility-scale, renewable energy project developments.”
Since founding the Bearkat community-sponsored wind energy project in September 2012, TGE has been the exclusive project developer. In July 2016, CIP purchased Bearkat and another TGE wind development, Blue Cloud Wind Energy. TGE’s wind division owns and develops utility-scale wind projects in Texas and New Mexico.
“Community-focused development, coupled with Texas’ significant investments in infrastructure; abundant wind, solar and fossil resources; and supportive business environment, contribute[s] to our national leadership in all forms of energy generation,” states Congressman Mike Conaway, R-Texas, who represents Glasscock County. “Wind energy projects like these positively impact local economies through job creation and increased tax revenues.”
Enel’s Lindahl Begins Operating In N.D.
Enel subsidiary Enel Green Power North America Inc. (EGPNA) has started operations on the 150 MW Lindahl wind farm, Enel’s first project in the state of North Dakota.
The project is capable of generating approximately 625 GWh annually, equivalent to the energy consumption needs of more than 50,000 U.S. households, says EGPNA.
The overall investment in the construction of Lindahl amounted to over $220 million. The wind farm is owned by EGPNA Renewable Energy Partners LLC, an equally owned joint venture between EGPNA and GE Energy Financial Services. Lindahl sells its energy and related renewable credits under a bundled, long-term power purchase agreement with the Basin Electric Power Cooperative.
“The completion of Lindahl furthers our strong growth in the U.S.,” comments Rafael Gonzalez, head of EGPNA. “We are proud to be a part of growing North Dakota’s energy economy and look forward to contributing our expertise and clean energy to the sustainable development of the local community.”
State Sen. David S. Rust adds, “The Lindahl wind project, which was organized by local landowners, represents a big win for the residents of Tioga and Williams County. The project provides a stable source of property taxes, jobs and landowner revenue to supplement the boom-and-bust cycles of economic development in the Bakken.”
EGPNA, present in 23 U.S. states and two Canadian provinces, has more than 3.3 GW of managed capacity spread across wind, solar, geothermal and hydropower.
Lindahl is the second EGPNA wind farm to begin operations this year, following the completion at the end of March of the 400 MW Cimarron Bend wind farm, which is the largest in Enel’s global wind portfolio.
Rattlesnake Project Begins Construction
Renewable Energy Systems (RES) and Goldwind Americas say that the 160 MW Rattlesnake Wind Project has received its notice to proceed on construction. The project was acquired by Goldwind from RES in May 2016.
Rattlesnake Wind, located in McCulloch County, Texas, will be RES’ 18th wind project in the state of Texas and the first in partnership with Goldwind. The development will consist of 64 Goldwind 2.5 MW permanent-magnet, direct-drive turbines. Once completed, Rattlesnake will be Goldwind’s largest U.S. wind project to date.
Rattlesnake Wind was developed by RES and will be constructed under a balance-of-plant agreement by the company.
The wind project was developed in coordination with local stakeholders and 32 participating landowners. The project has tax incentive agreements in place with McCulloch County, the McCulloch County Hospital District, the Brady Independent School District (ISD), and the Lohn ISD.
Pattern Acquires Interest In Broadview Wind
Pattern Energy Group Inc. has acquired from Pattern Energy Group LP (Pattern Development) interests in the two wind projects that comprise the 324 MW Broadview facilities and associated Western Interconnect transmission line.
Broadview, which is located 30 miles north of Clovis, N.M., commenced commercial operations in late March. Broadview interconnects to Western Interconnect, an independent, 345 kV transmission line approximately 35 miles in length. To wheel the output from Broadview to the California Independent System Operator system, where it is delivered to Southern California Edison, Broadview has entered into long-term, firm, point-to-point transmission service agreements to move the output through the Western Interconnect, Public Service of New Mexico and Arizona Public Service transmission systems.
Pattern Energy acquired an 84% initial cashflow interest in Broadview and a 99% ownership interest in Western Interconnect. Institutional equity investors have acquired from Pattern Development a 16% initial cashflow interest in and a 99% initial taxable income allocation from Broadview. Following the acquisition, based on its initial cashflow share, Pattern Energy retains an owned interest of 272 MW in Broadview.
Pattern Energy acquired the interests for $269 million, including cash consideration of $215 million and an assumed project loan of $54 million secured by Western Interconnect. The cash consideration was funded from available corporate liquidity. The Western Interconnect loan commitment was originally secured at the time of the agreement to acquire Broadview in June 2016. The interest on the debt is 90% swapped over the 19-year amortization term, and the debt has a maturity of 10 years. Broadview will begin receiving both pay-as-you-go contributions from the project’s tax equity investors and certain New Mexico production tax credits starting in 2018.
Broadview consists of 141 Siemens 2.3 MW wind turbines and has the capacity to generate 324 MW of energy – the power equivalent to the annual energy usage of approximately 180,000 California homes. However, Broadview is limited to 297 MW of injection capacity at the transmission interconnection point.
Pattern Energy expects Broadview and Western Interconnect to generate cash available for distribution (CAFD) of approximately $18 million in 2018 – increasing each year by approximately $2.5 million and generating an average of $23 million per year in CAFD over the five-year period starting in 2018.
“This extraordinary project brings inexpensive renewable power from eastern New Mexico, one of the highest wind areas in the west, using dedicated transmission capacity from several transmission systems into California,” comments Mike Garland, president and CEO of Pattern Energy.
Apple Signs Up For 200 MW Of Oregon Wind
To help power its data center in Prineville, Ore., Apple recently signed an agreement to purchase power from the Montague Wind Power Project, what the tech giant calls the “first Apple-created wind project.”
Apple announced the deal in its Environmental Responsibility Report, the company’s 2017 progress report covering fiscal year 2016.
Apple says it will purchase 200 MW of power from the wind farm, which is expected to reach commercial operations by the end of next year and be capable of producing 560 million kWh annually.
According to the Oregon Department of Energy, the 404 MW wind project is owned by Montague Wind Power Facility LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Avangrid Renewables LLC, and will be located in Gilliam County.
The company says it also signed a power purchase agreement for the 56 MW Solar Star Oregon II solar photovoltaic project, situated a few miles away from the data center. Also powering the data center are two micro-hydro projects generating 12 million kWh of energy per year.
Firms Tout Big Wind Investment In Kansas
State and local leaders and landowners joined executives from NextEra Energy Resources and Westar Energy to celebrate the commissioning of the Kingman and Ninnescah Wind Energy Centers in Kansas, which created hundreds of construction jobs and millions of dollars in economic benefits to the region.
As reported, an affiliate of NextEra owns and operates the Kingman and Ninnescah projects.
The Kingman and Ninnescah Wind Energy Centers feature more than 240 GE wind turbines designed to pivot to capture the prevailing wind and convert it to renewable electricity. Together, they have a generating capacity of 400 MW, capable of powering more than 100,000 homes. The energy serves customers of Westar and its wholesale partners Midwest Energy and the cities of McPherson, Chanute, Iola, Fredonia and Sabetha through energy management service agreements.
The projects have created a significant economic boost for Kingman and Pratt Counties, creating approximately 500 jobs during the construction phase in 2016 and approximately 35 full-time jobs once the projects became operational in December. The projects will provide more than $40 million in guaranteed payments to the county governments over their projected 30-year operational life and nearly $100 million in payments to local landowners. From labor and materials, to housing, healthcare and construction, a wide variety of local businesses have benefited from the influx of economic activity.
“Kansas, and Kingman and Pratt Counties in particular, is fortunate to have some of the best wind in the nation,” says Rep. Jack Thimesh of Spivey. “These projects are evidence of what we can do when we build strong partnerships to develop this resource, create good jobs and long-term benefits for our communities.”