Alabama Power signs second wind power contract

Alabama Power has signed a power contract for a Kansas wind project that would deliver renewable energy across five states. The companies have also agreed that the utility can separately sell the credits for the environmental attributes.

The 20-year agreement between Alabama Power and TradeWind Energy, LLC provides for low-cost energy from the Buffalo Dunes project in wind-rich Kansas to be delivered to Alabama customers.

The 20-year power purchase agreement between TradeWind Energy and Alabama Power, a subsidiary of Southern (NYSE: SO), is for 202 MW and all associated renewable energy credits (RECs). The contract was approved by the Alabama Public Service Commission on Sept. 17.

Alabama Power announced the new contract in an Oct. 10 news release.

This is the second contract between Alabama Power and Tradewind for a remote wind site. TradeWind developed the 235-MW Chisholm View Wind Project in Oklahoma for energy delivery to Alabama customers. That project is slated to be completed by December 2012.

TradeWind Energy’s plan for Buffalo Dunes allows flexibility for construction of a wind project between 200 and 300 MW.  The Project will be constructed across approximately 42,000 acres and hosted by over 120 landowners in Grant, Haskell and Finney Counties in Kansas. Under the agreement, Alabama Power has the flexibility to use the electricity from the wind project to serve its customers and use the energy credits, or it can sell the electricity and the RECs, together or separately, to third parties.

The Buffalo Dunes Wind Project will represent an approximately $300m investment. Commercial operation is anticipated in December 2013. 

“Our agreement with Buffalo Dunes Wind Project is great for our customers, in multiple ways,” said John Kelley, Alabama Power’s director of Forecasting and Resource Planning.  “It will deliver to us cost-effective electricity and helps further diversify our energy portfolio. What’s more, it provides us renewable energy credits that we have the option of using ourselves or selling to others, with the proceeds benefiting our customers.” 

Kelley discussed the wind projects in a six-minute video posted on the Alabama Power web site. The projects should provide Solar power is not yet economic in the Alabama market, Kelley said.

Over the past 18 months TradeWind has entered long term power purchase agreements that will lead to the construction of four wind projects in Kansas and Oklahoma that combined will deliver about 800 MW of energy to utility customers in the 10 states served by Alabama Power, the Tennessee Valley Authority and Western Farmers Electric Cooperative.