Atlantic Wind nears commercial start on North Carolina project

Atlantic Wind LLC told the North Carolina Utilities Commission in a Dec. 6 annual update that its project substation was recently energized and its wind project is due for commercial operation around Jan. 1.

Construction of approximately 62 miles of roadway within the project area was commenced in late August 2015 and completed in the summer of 2016. The operations and maintenance facility is complete and will be fully operational soon. The interconnect substation was completed in the third quarter of this year and initially energized in November 2016. As of this Dec. 6 report, 89 wind turbines are fully erected and the 15 remaining wind turbine components are staged on-site and will be erected before the end of December.

The project is expected to begin commercial operation on or about Jan. 1, 2017, barring any unforeseen delays. Presently there are approximately 190 workers on site. The current CAPEX budget is approximately $387 million for this first phase of work which includes 104 turbines.

The North Carolina commission in March 2015 granted a break to Atlantic Wind related to the construction deadline under a prior commission approval for this project. In May 2011, the commission granted Atlantic Wind a certificate of public convenience and necessity to construct a 300-MW wind facility in Perquimans and Pasquotank counties. On the date that the order was issued by the commission, a rule required that the certificate be renewed if the applicant had not begun construction of the facility within two years.

In March 2013, Atlantic Wind filed a motion to renew the certificate, which the commission approved in April of that year. In November 2014, the commission amended its rules to extend the renewal period for a merchant plant certificate for which construction has not yet begun from two years after the certificate is granted to three years.

In February 2015, Atlantic Wind filed a petition requesting a declaratory ruling that this new three-year deadline retroactively applied to the 2013 extension order, which pushed its deadline out to 2016.

Atlantic Wind is an affiliate of Iberdrola Renewables. The facility under the 2011 approval will consist of up to 150 wind turbines, electrical collector lines, a collection substation, a transmission voltage step-up substation, an interconnection switching station, an overhead sub-transmission line, an operations and maintenance facility, and several meteorological towers. It will interconnect with the Virginia Electric and Power d/b/a Dominion North Carolina Power 230-kV Winfall-to-Suffolk transmission line, which crosses the southwest portion of the 20,000-acre project area in Perquimans County.

Company contact information is: Atlantic Wind LLC, c/o lberdrola Renewables Inc., 1125 NW Couch Street, #700 Portland, OR 97209-4129.

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.