EDF Renewable Energy (EDF RE) announced Jan. 5 that the 250-MW Roosevelt Wind Project in New Mexico reached commercial operation on Dec. 15, 2015.
The project, located in Roosevelt County roughly 18 miles southwest of Portales, is composed of 125 Vestas 2-MW wind turbines. Southwestern Public Service (SPS), a subsidiary of Xcel Energy (NYSE: XEL), will purchase the electricity generated under a 20-year, fixed-price power purchase agreement.
“EDF RE is pleased to have commenced commercial operation of the Roosevelt Wind Project – our first facility in the business-friendly state of New Mexico, and would like to thank the residents of Roosevelt County and surrounding areas for helping us reach this important milestone,” said Ryan Pfaff, Executive Vice President at EDF Renewable Energy. “We are also excited to again be working with Southwestern Public Service Company to supply clean, competitively-priced electricity to its customers for years to come.”
EDF Renewable Energy is one of the largest renewable energy developers in North America with 7.6 GW of wind, solar, storage, biomass and biogas projects developed throughout the U.S., Canada, and Mexico.
This new wind capacity will have an impact. For example, coal usage in 2017 at the Tolk and Harrington power plants of SPS will be down, in part due to power provided under three new wind power purchase agreements, said David G. Horneck, employed by Xcel Energy Services, the service company subsidiary of Xcel Energy, as Manager Generation Modeling Service. Horneck was one of the Xcel officials providing Oct. 16, 2015, testimony at the New Mexico Public Regulation Commission in a rate case.
Total coal generation forecasted for 2017 will decrease by approximately 1,785 gigawatt-hours (GWh) or 12.67% compared to coal generation reflected in the 2014 Base Fuel case. The primary driver for the reduction in forecast coal generation is increased wind generation from three new wind energy PPAs, all of which were approved by this commission. Wind generation is forecasted to increase by 3,124 GWh or 90.8% for 2017. As such, during times of the day when higher cost units have been reduced to minimum levels and wind generation is at its highest, there can be a need to cycle down coal generation which is the primary contributor to the decline in coal generation forecast for 2017.
SPS has entered into contracts for 697 MW of nameplate wind energy through PPAs for the Roosevelt, Palo Duro, and Mammoth wind facilities. These added wind energy contracts are expected to produce over 3,089 GWh of energy in 2017, which is contributing to lower SPS owned coal and natural gas generation.