Duke wraps up construction of 200-MW Los Vientos IV wind project in Texas

The 426th turbine of the Los Vientos wind power projects is now spinning and serving customers near the Rio Grande in Starr County, Texas.

It marks the completion of Los Vientos IV, the last of the five area projects to begin operation. Duke Energy Renewables has installed more than 1,500 MW of wind energy in Texas, more than double its owned wind capacity in other states combined.

“Four years ago, we first began capturing the winds off the gulf with Los Vientos I and II in Willacy County,” said Rob Caldwell, president, Duke Energy Renewables and Distributed Energy Technology, in an Aug. 3 statement. “Since then, we’ve brought three other Los Vientos wind projects on line, delivering 900 MW of clean energy to South Texas. With 500 MW of that total in Starr County, we’d like to thank county leaders and our business partners for helping us deliver clean, low-cost renewable energy to south Texas customers and provide economic benefits to this region.”

Austin Energy is purchasing the power and associated renewable energy credits from the 200-MW Los Vientos IV wind farm under a 25-year agreement, increasing its total output purchased from Duke Energy Renewables to more than 665 MW.

Los Vientos IV is located approximately 35 miles northwest of McAllen, near Rio Grande City. Vestas supplied 100 V110-2.0 MW turbines for Los Vientos IV and will service the project under a three-year operations and maintenance agreement.

“With the turbines installed at Los Vientos IV, Vestas crossed a historic milestone — 75 gigawatts installed in 75 countries. We’re especially proud to have accomplished this on the Los Vientos IV project, a testament to our valued partnership with Duke Energy, a demonstrated renewable energy leader,” said Chris Brown, president of Vestas’ sales and service division in the United States and Canada. 

The facility was constructed by Wanzek Construction. Amshore US Wind provided development support for the project.

Duke Energy Renewables’ projects in Texas stand at 1,563 MW.

  • Sweetwater Windpower Project, Nolan County, 283 MW (of 585 MW total)
  • Ocotillo Windpower Project, Howard County, 59 MW
  • Notrees Windpower Project, Ector & Winkler Counties, 153 MW
  • Blue Wing Solar Power Project, San Antonio,14 MW
  • Notrees Battery Storage Project, Winkler County, 36 MW
  • Los Vientos I Windpower Project, Willacy County, 200 MW
  • Los Vientos II Windpower Project, Willacy County, 202 MW
  • Los Vientos III Windpower Project, Starr County, 200 MW
  • Mesquite Creek Windpower Project, Borden & Dawson counties, 106 MW
  • Los Vientos IV Windpower Project, Starr County, 200 MW
  • Los Vientos V Windpower Project Starr County, 110 MW

Duke Energy Renewables, part of Duke Energy‘s (NYSE: DUK) Commercial Portfolio, is a leader in developing innovative wind and solar energy generation projects for customers throughout the United States. The company’s growing portfolio of commercial renewable assets includes approximately 20 wind projects and more than 40 solar facilities in operation in roughly a dozen states, totaling about 2,700 MW.

Austin Energy is a municipal electric utility, owned and operated by the City of Austin, Texas, engaged in the generation, distribution, and transmission of electricity to more than 440,000 residential, commercial and industrial customers in Travis and Williamson counties. Austin Energy has approximately 4,400 MW of generation capacity, either wholly owned or subject to long-term Power Purchase Agreements. This diverse portfolio includes nuclear, coal, natural gas, biomass, wind, and solar.

Since 1979, Vestas has supplied about 50,000 wind turbines and over 57 GW in 73 countries. Vestas entered the U.S. market in 1981, selling its first wind turbine for a project in California. Since then, the company has delivered 12,396 turbines to the United States and 1,419 to Canada. Combined, Vestas’ installed capacity is 13,387 MW in 28 U.S. states and every Canadian province.

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.