Feds break ground on Siemens-built wind farm in Texas

The National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA) on Aug. 13 broke ground on construction of the federal government’s largest wind farm, located in Texas.

The project will be able to generate more than 10 MW of electricity.

The NNSA awarded the contract to Siemens Government Technologies to construct the Pantex wind farm, which is expected to generate energy savings on average of $2.8m annually over the 18-year contract term. The installation will consist of five 2.3-MW turbines located on 1,500 acres of government-owned property east of the Pantex plant in Amarillo, said Siemens in an Aug. 13 statement. Construction is expected to be completed by the summer of 2014.

The wind farm is expected to generate roughly 47 million kilowatt hours of clean energy annually, which is more than 60% of the electricity required annually for the Pantex facility.

“This event commemorates the most unique and significant wind energy project ever undertaken by the federal government. We are very proud of our national security mission here at Pantex, and this federal partnership with Siemens will provide yet another dimension of dedicated and responsible service to our nation,” said Steve Erhart, Manager, NNSA Production Office.

“Today marks a milestone in the development of wind power to help the federal government meet its renewable energy and efficiency goals,” said Judy Marks, president and CEO of Siemens Government Technologies. “As a global leader in the wind industry, Siemens will bring reliable, secure and renewable energy to the critical mission at the NNSA Pantex plant.”

Using an Energy Savings Performance Contract, the cost of the project will be funded by the energy savings guaranteed by Siemens.

NNSA is a semi-autonomous agency within the DOE responsible for enhancing national security through the military application of nuclear science. It maintains and enhances the safety, security, reliability and performance of the U.S. nuclear weapons stockpile without nuclear testing; works to reduce global danger from weapons of mass destruction; provides the U.S. Navy with nuclear propulsion; and responds to nuclear and radiological emergencies in the U.S. and abroad.

About Barry Cassell 20414 Articles
Barry Cassell is Chief Analyst for GenerationHub covering coal and emission controls issues, projects and policy. He has covered the coal and power generation industry for more than 24 years, beginning in November 2011 at GenerationHub and prior to that as editor of SNL Energy’s Coal Report. He was formerly with Coal Outlook for 15 years as the publication’s editor and contributing writer, and prior to that he was editor of Coal & Synfuels Technology and associate editor of The Energy Report. He has a bachelor’s degree from Central Michigan University.