EDF Renewable Energy recently announced that the 161 MW Spinning Spur II Wind Project in Texas has reached commercial operation. The company further announced the close of structured equity financing from GE Energy Financial Services and MUFG Union Bank, N.A. The completion of construction and COD milestone allows the closing of the sale of 50 percent of EDF Renewable Energy’s equity interest in the project to UBS International Infrastructure Fund. Financial details were not disclosed.
Spinning Spur II commenced construction of 87 GE 1.85-megawatt, 87-meter rotor wind turbines 40 miles west of Amarillo in June 2013. The power is sold pursuant to an 11-year purchase agreement. The project is one of the first to feed into the new CREZ (Competitive Renewable Energy Zones) transmission infrastructure which enables access to the strong renewable resources of West Texas and the Texas Panhandle and delivery of the wind energy resource to the high electricity demand areas in the state. Texas leads the country in installed wind capacity with 12,300 megawatts, enough clean electricity to power 3.3 million average homes in the United States.
Mortenson Construction’s Renewable Energy Groups provided engineering, procurement, and construction of all access roads, foundations, wind turbine erection, collection system, operations and maintenance building and the installation of MET towers for the Spinning Spur II project. Approximately 200 jobs were created throughout the course of construction which began in June 2013.
“The announcement today exemplifies EDF Renewable Energy’s strategy to develop renewable energy projects with strong local community support, and first tier equipment suppliers and contractors, and then invite the investment from longstanding financial partners,” commented Tristan Grimbert, President and CEO of EDF Renewable Energy. “EDF RE will retain substantial ownership in the facility and bring our expertise in operations and maintenance through EDF Renewable Services to optimize long-term investment profitability.” With the Spinning Spur II project in operation, the Group’s installed capacity since entering the Texas market in 2012 reaches 472 MW with another 700 MW in late-stage development.
“We’re very pleased to have partnered with EDF Renewable Energy on our 24th successful project together and to have been part of building one of the first projects to connect to the CREZ,” (Competitive Renewable Energy Zone) said Tim Maag, vice president and general manager of Mortenson Construction’s Wind Energy group.
Spinning Spur II will generate enough electricity to power approximately 44,000 homes — according to US Energy Environmental Protection Agency methodology — avoiding approximately 332,000 metric tons of greenhouse gas emissions per year, the equivalent of the annual emissions from approximately 70,000 passenger vehicles.
EDF Renewable Services will provide long-term operations and maintenance for the facility, balance of plant, project oversight, and 24/7 remote monitoring from its NERC compliant Operations Control Center (OCC).
The OCC provides an efficient, reliable, and secure operating platform, while benefiting from the centralization of SCADA (Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition) functions and consolidation of multiple vendor SCADA environments to provide a common operating view. EDF Renewable Services is an industry leader, providing O&M services to more than 7.4 gigawatts of renewable energy projects across North America.