Duke brings 110-MW Los Vientos V wind farm in Texas into commercial operation

Duke Energy Renewables, a commercial business unit of Duke Energy (NYSE: DUK), ended 2015 with a flurry, completing its 110-MW Los Vientos V Windpower Project in Starr County, Texas.

With this site on line as of late December, Duke Energy Renewables added 400 MW of wind and 200 MW of solar power to its U.S. renewables portfolio in 2015.

“We’ve come a long way since we constructed our first 29-MW wind site in 2008,” said Greg Wolf, president Duke Energy Commercial Portfolio, in a Jan. 26 statement. “The company surpassed the 2,000-MW milestone just six months ago, and we’ve continued to accelerate renewables growth to a year-end total approaching 2,500 MW.”

“This is a remarkable accomplishment for our renewables business, which has demonstrated consistent growth over its eight-year history,” said Lynn Good, Duke Energy chairman, president and chief executive officer. “As we look forward, continued growth is important as Duke Energy transitions to an increasingly clean generation portfolio.”

Garland Power & Light, Greenville Electric Utility System and Bryan Texas Utilities are purchasing the output from Los Vientos V through 25-year agreements. “These progressive municipal utilities are adding wind power to their mix in response to a greater demand for competitively-priced, clean, and sustainable energy,” added Wolf. “We’re proud to add them to our valued customer base.”

In addition to Los Vientos V, Duke Energy Renewables completed the 200-MW Los Vientos III wind project last year and acquired half of the 211-MW Mesquite Creek wind site, which supplies energy to candy maker Mars Inc.

Duke Energy Renewables also brought more than 200 MW of solar energy on line in 2015. It built eight solar projects in North Carolina, totaling about 160 MW, including the 80-MW Conetoe facility, the largest solar project operating east of the Mississippi to date. The business also completed the 20-MW Seville I and 30-MW Seville II solar power projects in California.

In October 2015, Duke Energy’s Los Vientos Windpower V LLC filed with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission a notice of self-certification as an exempt wholesale generator. This facility consists of an array of 55 Vestas V110 2.0 MW wind turbines that interconnect to Electric Transmission Texas LLC’s transmission system at a dead-end structure in its Liston substation.

Los Vientos V is party to three different power purchase agreements, said the notice:

  • One agreement is with the City of Bryan, Texas, a home-rule municipal corporation which owns and operates Bryan Texas Utilities. This deal is dated as of Aug. 28, 2014. Los Vientos V will sell to Bryan 27.27% of the actual capacity of the facility, as well as associated environmental attributes and ancillary services. The agreement has a term of 25 years from the date of commercial operation.
  • Another agreement is with Greenville Electric Utility System, a municipally owned utility of the City of Greenville, and is dated Aug. 28, 2014. Los Vientos V will sell to the Greenville 27.27% of the actual capacity of the facility, as well as associated environmental attributes and ancillary services. The deal is for 25 years from the date of commercial operation. 
  • The third agreement is with the City of Garland, Texas, a Texas municipal corporation, and is dated Aug. 28, 2014. Los Vientos V will sell to Garland 45.46% of the actual capacity of the facility, as well as associated environmental attributes and ancillary services. The agreement has a term of 25 years from the date of commercial operation.
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.