Building Energy’s First Wind Farm Begins Operations


Building Energy SpA, a multinational company operating as a global integrated IPP in the Renewable Energy Industry, through its subsidiary Building Energy Wind Iowa LLC, recently announced the inauguration of its first wind farm in Iowa, which adds up to 30 MW of wind-generation distribution capacity. The project, north of Des Moines, will generate approximately 110 GWh per year.

The beginning of operations was celebrated on the Wind of Life event in Ames, Iowa, attended by Andrea Braccialarghe, MD America of Building Energy; Alessandro Bragantini, chief operating officer of Building Energy; Giuseppe Finocchiaro, Italian consul general; and George Revock, managing director and head of alternative energy and project finance at Capital One Bank.

The overall investment in the construction of the Iowa distribution generation wind farms amounted to $58 million, and it sells its energy and related renewable credits under a bundled, long-term power purchase agreement with a local utility. Capital One Bank is committed to a tax equity contribution of approximately $33 million to the project.

The wind facility, developed, financed, owned, and operated by Building Energy, consists of 10 3.0 MW geared onshore wind turbines, each with a rotor diameter of 125 meters mounted on an 87.5-meter steel tower.

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The energy generated will power 11,000 U.S. households every year while avoiding the emission of about 70,000 tons of CO2 emissions according to U.S. Environmental Protection Agency methodology, which is equivalent to taking 15,000 cars off the road each year.

Besides the environmental benefits, the wind farm also has advantages for the local communities, providing it with clean energy and creating jobs for local Iowans. The project involved more than a hundred of local skilled workers during the construction phase. Some of those jobs will be permanent as necessary for the operation and maintenance activities as well as for additional services such as delivery, transportation, spare parts management, landscape mitigation, and further environmental monitoring studies. The developmental stage of the wind farm required a vast number of studies, including environmental surveys, title surveys, engineering studies, and wind-resource studies, that were carried out by local engineering firms, law firms, and various advisers such as a local university.

The company has been present in many states since 2013 with more than 500 MW of projects under development, spread across different renewable energy technologies.

“We are extremely proud to begin operations of our first wind farm in Iowa and to celebrate with the whole Iowa community through this inauguration ceremony,” Braccialarghe said. “Taking advantage of the strong wind resources in the state of Iowa, the project has been bringing benefits to the local economy with new job positions since the projects’ developmental stage and will continue to do so throughout the life of the plants. The wind farm will span six different towns, Huxley, Kelley, East Ames, East Nevada, Grinnell, and Alden, in order to provide renewable energy to as many local communities as possible respecting the environment without impacting residential areas or conflicting with agricultural or livestock activities, while at the same time keeping electricity rates stable and affordable.” 

Source: Building Energy

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