204-MW Shannon wind project in Texas to go commercial in December

Alterra Power Corp. (TSX: AXY) said in a Nov. 10 earnings statement that at its Shannon project in Texas, all road construction, turbine foundations and collector lines have now been completed for this 204-MW wind farm.

All 119 turbines have been delivered to Shannon site and most of those have been fully erected. Commissioning is underway to allow connection to the grid, and the project is now delivering limited test power. The company expects commercial operations to commence in December 2015.

At the Jimmie Creek hydroelectric project in British Columbia, intake and tailrace construction is nearly complete, penstock installation is 95% complete, and the rubber dam has been fully commissioned for the 62-MW hydro project. Removal of the lower diversion is complete, and the facility is expected to commence generation in the summer of 2016.

On Oct. 20, the company announced an agreement to acquire the water rights for four hydro development projects (the South Toba projects: Chusan, Powell, Eldred North and Eldred South) which are all located near the Toba Montrose and Jimmie Creek projects.

“We’re excited to be in the home stretch of construction for the Shannon and Jimmie Creek hydro projects, with both projects poised to be delivered on-time and on-budget,” said John Carson, Alterra’s CEO. “Separately, our teams are working toward our next growth phase, with new project development and acquisition efforts across all clean power technologies.”

On June 30, 2015, affiliates of Alterra and Starwood Energy Group Global LLC entered into a partnership agreement under which each party owns a 50% equity interest in the Shannon project. Shannon is being constructed under a construction services agreement with M.A. Mortenson Co. The project’s main power transformer has been manufactured and installed by Siemens Energy Inc. General Electric (NYSE: GE)has supplied 119 wind turbines for the project, and will provide operations and maintenance services for the turbines under a long-term contract. The project will sell the majority of its power under a long-term power hedge with Citigroup Energy Inc.

Alterra, in partnership with Axium, is constructing the Jimmie Creek project, which will sell 100% of its power to BC Hydro under a 40-year PPA beginning in 2016. The project is located in close proximity to the company’s Toba Montrose hydro facility and will have a nameplate capacity of 62 MW and projected annual output of 159,000 MWh. The Jimmie Creek facility will use excess, unused capacity on the Toba Montrose transmission line that connects Toba Montrose to the BC Hydro substation at Saltery Bay. Jimmie Creek is being constructed under an Engineering, Procurement, and Construction Management contract with SNC-Lavalin Inc.

The company’s prospective power projects include:

  • Dokie 2 wind project, British Columbia, Canada. At June 30, 2015, the company holds a 51% interest in a wind project adjacent to Dokie 1 with a projected capacity of up to 156 MW. In March 2015, the company received notice from an affiliate of GE Energy Financial Services (GE EFS) that it does not intend to proceed with advancement of Dokie 2. The company expects to complete an agreement with GE EFS to transfer its 49% ownership interest in Dokie 2 to the company for nominal consideration. In 2014, the company wrote off the deferred costs and goodwill associated with the Dokie 2 project due to a decline in the economic outlook surrounding renewable energy as a result of the latest Integrated Resource Plan produced by the BC Government and other reasons. The company has maintained all existing permits and licenses in good standing and may look to further develop in the future when market outlook improves.
  • The company holds the rights to develop a 40-MW solar project at the Soda Lake geothermal plant site in Nevada, and is currently developing new early-stage wind projects. In January 2015, the company sold its geothermal development assets in the U.S. (McCoy, Desert Queen, Granite Springs, and Hawthorne along with certain other properties adjacent to the Soda Lake facility) to Cyrq as part of the sale of the Soda Lake facility.
  • On March 12, 2015, the company signed a memorandum of understanding with the Klahoose First Nation to jointly develop the 15-MW Tahumming hydroelectric project, which is in the Toba Valley near the Toba Montrose and Jimmie Creek projects. The company is currently conducting further fish, hydrology and other studies to confirm the project’s viability.
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.