Enel, through its U.S. renewable subsidiary Enel Green Power North America, has begun operating a 199-MW expansion of the Cimarron Bend wind farm in Clark County, Kansas, making the overall 599-MW facility the largest renewable plant owned by the Enel Group currently in operation worldwide.
The 236.5-MW White Cloud wind farm also began operations in Nodaway County, Missouri. The two wind farms bring Enel’s total renewable capacity added in 2020 across the U.S. and Canada to 865 MW. The investment in the construction of White Cloud amounts to about $380 million, while that of the Cimarron Bend expansion amounts to more than $281 million.
“We are progressing at full speed toward a sustainable energy future,” said Salvatore Bernabei, Enel Green Power CEO. “In a challenging year across all sectors, our teams have demonstrated exceptional dedication to the achievement of our business goals while continuing to prioritize health and safety. These milestones further prove our track record in the development, construction and operation of high-quality generation assets, enabling the accomplishment of sustainability targets by us and our renewable energy offtakers.”
The start of operations at the Cimarron Bend expansion, on which construction began in the second quarter of 2020, further cements Enel Green Power’s status as the largest wind operator in Kansas by managed capacity. The overall 599-MW facility is expected to generate a total of more than 2.7 TWh per year, equivalent to avoiding about 1.7 million tons of CO2 emissions. Enel will sell the facility’s energy output through a 150-MW power purchase agreement (PPA) with Evergy, an investor-owned utility based in Kansas City, Missouri, and a 30-MW PPA with the Missouri Joint Municipal Electric Utility Commission (MJMEUC), a joint action agency  of the Missouri Public Utility Alliance (MPUA) .
White Cloud, on which construction began in summer 2019, is due to generate about 950 GWh annually while avoiding the emission of more than 621,000 tons of CO2 per year. Enel Green Power North America signed a PPA with Associated Electric Cooperative Inc. (AECI) in which the Springfield, Missouri-based electric cooperative will purchase the entire energy output from the plant.
In Missouri, Enel also operates the 300 MW Rock Creek wind farm in Atchison County, which sells its entire output to Evergy.
The construction process for Cimarron Bend and White Cloud followed Enel Green Power’s Sustainable Construction Site model, a collection of best practices aimed at minimizing the impact of plant construction on the environment. The Cimarron Bend construction site team adopted a recycling program and is set to be donating office supplies as well as equipment to local schools in need with the aim to extend the products’ useful lives alongside diverting them from landfills. The White Cloud operations and maintenance (O&M) building is a refurbished and repurposed space, an approach adopted to reduce the costs and environmental impact from construction of new O&M buildings.
In the final stages of construction, Enel closely monitored the emergent COVID-19 pandemic and responded to protect the health of its workers and the community. While abiding by the guidance of public officials, the company implemented strict travel guidelines and enhanced sanitation, as crews implemented safe working habits and physical distancing instructions. Furthermore, Enel North America announced more than $1.3 million in contributions to relief efforts across the U.S. and Canada.
Enel Green Power has three projects under construction in the United States: the 299-MW Aurora wind farm in North Dakota and two solar-plus storage projects in Texas: Lily (181 MW) as well as Azure Sky (284 MW). As part of the Enel Group’s three-year strategic plan announced in November, the company is planning to bring an additional 3 GW of renewable capacity online in North America by 2023.
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