SPP files construction deal for 30-MW AEM Wind project in New Mexico

The Southwest Power Pool filed with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission on Sept. 21 an executed Affected Systems’ Facilities Construction Agreement (FCA) with AEM Wind LLC and interconnecting transmission owner Southwestern Public Service.

AEM intends to own, and operate, or manage the AEM Interconnection Facilities relating to a 29.9-MW generating facility consisting of 13 General Electric 2.3 MW wind generators, located in Lea County, New Mexico. The project has an expected commercial operation date of Sept. 30, 2017, pursuant to a duly executed Interconnection Agreement (IA) with Lea County Electric Cooperative wherein the IA provides for interconnection service to interconnect the project with the sub-transmission system of SPS, which system is interconnected to the SPS Transmission System, which is under SPP’s functional control.

The project will be interconnected to the 69-kV bus of a new substation on Lea County Electric Cooperative’s Crossroads-Tatum 69-kV line located in Lea County, New Mexico.

A project contact listed in the agreement is: Thomas Coté, Manager, AEM Wind LLC, 645 North Michigan, Suite 980 Chicago, IL 60611, phone (312) 283-3400, cote@akuoenergy.com.

That is contact information for Akuo Energy SAS, which says about itself on its website: “With 560 MW of capacity in operation or under construction at the end of 2015, and consolidated revenue of €149 million, coming solely from the sale of green energy, Akuo Energy is France’s leading independent renewable energy producer. The group was founded in 2007 and is 80%-owned by its founders.” The Chicago address listed above is for one of the Paris-based company’s regional offices.

Akuo Energy USA on Jan. 25 had announced the signing of a 30-MW Renewable Energy Purchase Agreement (REPA) with Western Farmers Electric Cooperative (WFEC). The renewable energy will be provided from the Sterling Wind Farm, which will be located near the city of Tatum in Lea County New Mexico. Western Farmers Electric has agreed to purchase the output from the 30-MW project for a span of 15 years.

“We are pleased to sign this renewable energy purchase agreement with Western Farmers Electric Cooperative, the largest locally owned power supply system in the region. The REPA for the Sterling Wind Farm is the second project for Akuo to reach this milestone in the past twelve months. We look forward to continuing our collaboration with WFEC, a company with 75 years of experience in electric power supply including generation and transmission to its 21 member cooperatives including Lea County Electric Cooperative, and is a leader in the deployment of renewable energy,” said Coté, the CEO of Akuo Energy USA.

“Akuo Energy USA by way of the AEM Wind, LLC is a company that is truly client focused and passionate in it’s pursuit to develop and operate clean, renewable energy generation facilities and providing customers with value-based energy,” said Brian Hobbs, Vice President, Legal & Corporate Services of Western Farmers Electric Cooperative.

Akuo Energy in November 2015 had announced the development of the 30-MW first phase of its Sterling wind farm project. Sterling is located in Lea County in the city Tatum. Sterling wind farm, once fully developed, will have a total projected capacity of approximately 300 MW.

The wind farm will be constructed on land originally belonging to Brett Sterling, the landowner who initiated the project’s development. The company said at the time that construction of Sterling Phase I could begin at the end of 2016, with a target commercial operation date in the fourth quarter of 2017.

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.