Pattern Energy Group Inc. recently announced it has closed financing and started construction on the repowering of its Gulf Wind facility in Kenedy County, Texas.
Repowering the Gulf Wind facility will consist of removing the current wind turbines and replacing them with 118 new Siemens Gamesa SWT-2.3-108 turbines, which will generate 271 MW of capacity, the equivalent to the annual energy usage of approximately 80,000 Texas homes. Construction began on December 3, 2019.
“Repowering Gulf Wind with brand new turbines made strong economic sense due to its unique location on the Gulf Coast, where the winds blow strongest at the times of Texas’ peak energy demand and pricing,” said Mike Garland, president and CEO of Pattern Energy. “Gulf Wind was our first wind-power facility, and technology has improved rapidly since it first began operating over a decade ago. By installing the latest technology turbines, we expect the repowered facility to have more efficient production, lower operating costs, renewed production tax credits (PTCs), and longer life, which combine to increase the long-term value of our fleet.”
“Repowering provides an opportunity to increase the efficiency, reliability, and longevity of existing wind farms,” said José Antonio Miranda, Siemens Gamesa Renewable Energy, CEO Onshore Americas. “We have a long-standing partnership with Pattern Energy and are excited to bring new life to the Gulf Wind facility.”
The repowering consists of replacing nacelles, towers, and blades for the 118 turbines at Gulf Wind with new Siemens Gamesa 2.3 MW turbines, each with 108-meter blades on 80-meter towers.
The Gulf Wind facility has entered into a new 20-year power purchase agreement with Austin Energy for the majority of the facility’s energy production. The remaining output will be sold at merchant power prices. Gulf Wind is strategically located on the Gulf Coast in Kenedy County, Texas, where favorable wind conditions allow the facility to maximize energy production during times of peak demand and peak pricing.
For more than 25 years, Gulf Wind is expected to contribute approximately $90 million to the local economy through tax and landowner payments. The Gulf Wind facility sits on 9,600 acres leased from the Kenedy Memorial Foundation. All money received by the Foundation supports its charitable causes to fight poverty, boost education, and build stronger communities.
Gulf Wind began operation in 2009. In late August 2017, the facility withstood Hurricane Harvey, one of the strongest hurricanes to hit the area in recent history. Following the storm, when the facility was deemed undamaged and safe to resume operations, Gulf Wind returned to supplying much-needed energy to the Texas grid.
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