Siemens Grabs Northwest Service Contract
Siemens has been awarded a long-term service contract for the Lower Snake River wind farm, located near Pomeroy, Garfield County, in Washington state.
The customer is Bellevue, Wash.-based Puget Sound Energy. Completed in early 2012, the Lower Snake River project comprises 149 SWT-2.3-101 wind turbines that produce up to 343 MW of renewable energy. On average, says Siemens, the facility generates enough electricity to power 82,000 average U.S. homes.
The turbines have been serviced and maintained by Siemens since they began commercial operation in 2012. Under the terms of the new agreement, Siemens will provide long-term service and maintenance for an additional 10 years and install the company’s Power Boost function and High Wind Ride Through (HWRT) turbine modernization products to all 149 units.
Siemens says its Power Boost functionality increases power production of a turbine by raising the output limitation under specific operating conditions. Depending on site conditions, the annual energy production can be increased by up to 4%, the company adds.
Part of the Siemens Digital Services for Energy offerings, the digitally driven HWRT is designed to prevent the wind turbine from shutting down immediately as wind speeds reach above 25 m/s. Siemens says this leads to enhanced grid stability and replaces the high-wind, fixed-threshold shutdown with an intelligent, load-based reduction in output power to help avoid shutdown during high winds.
Siemens says it currently provides service and maintenance for more than 4,000 installed wind turbines in the Americas region and more than 10,000 globally for a combined generating capacity of over 25 GW.
Mars Plans Mexico Project Ahead Of COP22
In an announcement urging the business community and global leaders at COP22 to implement the targets agreed upon last year in Paris for tackling climate change, Mars Inc. has also unveiled plans for a wind farm in Mexico – its third major wind energy commitment.
According to the company, Mars is aiming to eliminate all fossil fuel use from its operations by 2040, and now, the company is encouraging leaders to do the same by setting ambitious goals that go beyond the national targets agreed upon at COP21.
Barry Parkin, Mars Inc.’s chief sustainability and health and well-being officer, says, “This is an important moment in global political and economic history, and we absolutely must come together to solve the immense challenges facing the planet. Climate change, water scarcity and deforestation are serious threats to society. It is imperative that global businesses, like Mars, do their part to face down those threats.”[adright zone=’190′]
Mars’ new wind farm in Mexico is the latest in a series of major renewable electricity projects. In just over a year, Mars has announced three new wind projects across three continents:
- In 2015, Mars opened its 118-turbine wind farm in Mesquite Creek, Texas, which now generates the equivalent of 100% of the electricity needed to power the entirety of the Mars U.S. operations;
- In 2016, Mars announced a partnership with Eneco to activate a 20-turbine wind farm in Scotland that is providing electricity from renewable sources equal to what’s required to power all of its U.K. operations; and
- In 2017, Mars will activate its new wind farm partnership with Vive Energia and Envision to provide the equivalent of 100% of the electricity required to power its five Mexican plants, located in Querétaro, Nuevo León and Jalisco – a project that is expected to drive a greenhouse-gas reduction of over 25,000 tons of CO2 emissions. Damian Ryan, acting CEO of The Climate Group, says, “This latest announcement is another piece in the jigsaw for achieving [Mars’] goal of 100 percent renewable energy globally by 2040. The move will also help to develop a growing renewables market in Mexico. It sends a clear signal of support to the Yucatan government that demand for renewables is rising and that there’s an alternative to using polluting fossil fuels in this environmentally sensitive area.”
At COP21 in Paris, Mars joined several chief executives of the world’s top food companies to publish an open letter to global leaders pledging individual and collaborative action on climate change and urging governments to forge clear international agreements at the meeting.
Also last year, Mars signed on to the American Business Act on Climate, led by the White House, which aims to rally business, government, academic, technical and scientific communities to tackle climate change in the U.S. and on a global scale.
Gamesa Nets U.S. Turbine Supply Contract
Gamesa says it has been awarded a contract for the supply of 99 MW for a wind farm in the south-central U.S.
According to the company, this U.S. wind farm will utilize 48 G114-2.0 MW and G114-2.1 MW turbines. Under the contract, Gamesa will deliver and commission all of the turbines, which are slated for delivery in 2017.
The project is expected to go into commercial operation later that same year, the company notes.
Gamesa says it has approximately 4,800 MW in firm orders for G114 turbines across the globe, which are optimized for multiple-wind-speed sites. Completion of the project, along with others on order or under construction, will bring Gamesa’s installed capacity in the U.S. to over 5,000 MW.
Greenfield Wind Farm Changes Hands
Greenbacker Renewable Energy Co. LLC has acquired a 25 MW operating wind generation facility in Montana.
The Greenfield Wind Farm was sold by Greenfield Wind LLC, which is majority owned and managed by Foundation Windpower LLC, a wind developer based in San Francisco.
The total consideration for the project is approximately $34.5 million. In conjunction with the acquisition, the $26 million turbine-supply loan provided to Greenfield Wind LLC in June has been repaid in full.
The 25 MW project comprises 13 GE 2.3-107 MW wind turbines. Located in Teton County, the wind farm sells power directly to local public utility NorthWestern Energy through a 25-year, fixed-rate power purchase agreement.
Enercon’s Niagara Region Achieves Financial Close
Enercon Canada Inc. has closed C$825.5 million in nonrecourse project financing for its 230 MW Niagara Region Wind Farm, located in the Ontario counties of Lincoln, West Lincoln, Wainfleet and Haldimand in the Niagara Peninsula.
The wind farm, which comprises 77 Enercon E-101 3 MW turbines, has a 20-year feed-in tariff contract with the Independent Electricity System Operator of the province of Ontario. It was commissioned on Oct. 30.[adleft zone=’190′]
The wind farm is owned by Enercon and the Six Nations of the Grand River Development Corp. Boralex Inc. will acquire 25% of Enercon’s interest in the project by the end of the year.
The financing comprises a construction loan of approximately C$789.5 million that will convert into an 18-year amortizing loan after the start of the commercial operation, as well as a letter of credit facility of approximately C$39 million.
A portion of approximately C$252.4 million of the financing will be covered by a guarantee offered to the lenders by the Federal Republic of Germany through its Export Credit Agency Euler-Hermes.
MUFG acted as administrative agent, collateral agent and account bank. KfW IPEX-Bank acted as Hermes’ agent and technical bank. Landesbank Baden-Württemberg acted as insurance agent. The documentation banks are MUFG and KfW IPEX-Bank. The mandated lead arrangers and bookrunners are KfW IPEX-Bank, MUFG, CaixaBank SA, Landesbank Baden-Württemberg, ABN AMRO Capital USA LLC and DZ Bank AG New York Branch.
Blake, Cassels & Graydon LLP acted as legal counsel to the lenders. Fasken, Martineau DuMoulin LLP acted as legal counsel to Enercon. Plan A Capital Inc. acted as financial advisor to Enercon.