AEP works out grid service deal for 200-MW Texas wind project

American Electric Power Service Corp., on behalf of its affiliate AEP Texas Central Co., on Nov. 21 filed at the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission a Service Agreement under the Open Access Transmission Service Tariff of the American Electric Power System for a 200-MW wind project.

This is a fully executed system upgrade agreement dated Oct. 28 between AEP Texas Central and Los Vientos Windpower III LLC.

The agreement provides for system upgrades to AEP’s Bates substation and Garza substation. The system upgrades require AEP to engineer, procure, and install 138 kV relaying equipment to both substations. The power project developer’s 200-MW wind project, located in Starr County, Texas, is expected to go into commercial operation around Dec. 31, 2014.

The Los Vientos primary contact is: Jeffrey Wehner, with an email address of jeffrey.wehner@duke-energy.com.

Duke Energy Renewables, a commercial business unit of Duke Energy (NYSE: DUK), had announced Sept. 26 that it will build two large-scale wind power facilities in South Texas. Duke Energy Renewables will build, own and operate the Los Vientos III and IV wind projects, sited about 100 miles west of Brownsville near Rio Grande City in Starr County. Each will produce 200 MW. Austin Energy will purchase the output and associated renewable energy credits from the wind farms under two 25-year agreements.

“We are pleased to again be bringing jobs, economic development and clean, affordable electricity to Texas, where we have our largest presence,” said Duke Energy Renewables President Greg Wolf. “We’re also glad to be working again with Austin Energy on projects that further their commitment to investing in renewable power.”

Austin Energy also purchases the power from Duke Energy Renewables’ Los Vientos II wind project in Willacy and Cameron counties.

“Austin Energy has among the most aggressive renewable energy goals in the country and these two new wind projects with Duke Energy will help us meet our 35 percent renewable energy goal four years ahead of schedule,” said Austin Energy General Manager Larry Weis. “They will also help push our wind portfolio to more than 1,000 MW, which is nearly a third of our total generation.”

Duke Energy Renewables said at that time that it would begin construction of the projects in the fourth quarter of this year, with an in-service date expected in early 2015 for Los Vientos III and mid-2016 for Los Vientos IV. Vestas will supply 200 of its 2-MW turbines for the two wind projects.

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.