Pattern Energy’s Spring Valley wind project starts operation

The first wind power project in Nevada, Pattern Energy Group LP‘s Spring Valley Wind, has completed construction and is operating.

The 152-MW project is located near the town of Ely ion public lands, which is another first in the state.

“Advancing smart renewable energy development on our nation’s public lands is a key component to President Obama’s all-of-the-above energy strategy,” Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar said in an opening ceremony.

“Building Nevada’s first wind energy facility was a collaborative process that would not have been possible without the strong support and hard work of numerous groups and individuals across the state and around the country,” said Mike Garland, CEO of Pattern Energy.

Pattern said it was able to work with local Native American tribes and environmental groups. A lawsuit filed against the project was settled in the spring as site and operational mitigation measures were implemented.

These measures include the preservation of cultural resources, funding for sage grouse, curtailment standards, modified electrical lines to reduce risks to birds, and an advanced radar system designed to protect birds and bats, Garland said.

All of the major turbine components were manufactured in Iowa and Kansas and the project’s advanced radar system was built by DeTect in Florida. 

“We are honored to once again work with Pattern as they make history in Nevada and continue to develop wind projects across the Americas,” said Mark Albenze, CEO of Siemens Wind Power Americas. “This marks our 10th project completed, in development or under contract, totaling more than 800 wind turbine units capable of producing clean energy for more than 500,000 average homes.  Because of customers like Pattern, Siemens has invested more than $100 million in factories and jobs to make its state-of-the-art wind turbine blades and nacelles right here in the U.S.”

Spring Valley Wind created approximately 240 jobs during construction and 13 full-time permanent positions for ongoing operations and maintenance. The wind energy project is expected to generate more than $20 million in tax revenue for White Pine County and the state of Nevada’s Renewable Energy Fund over the next 20 years. Pattern has entered into a 20-year power purchase agreement with NV Energy for the sale of energy produced by the project.

Mortenson Construction managed construction of the project, which utilizes 66 Siemens 2.3 MW wind turbines and is connected to an existing 230 kV transmission line for electricity distribution.

Spring Valley Wind will be Pattern’s fourth operating wind project in North America and is one of a number of wind power projects that Pattern expects to bring into operation over the next 12 months in North America, Puerto Rico and Latin America.