CHARLOTTE, N.C. - One hundred spinning turbines near the Rio Grande in Starr County, Texas, mark a major achievement for Duke Energy as well as its customer, Austin Energy.
"The Los Vientos III Windpower Project achieving commercial operation represents a significant milestone for Duke Energy Renewables, as we now have more than 2,000 megawatts of renewable energy in production," said Greg Wolf, president of Duke Energy Renewables. "And, as the third project weve completed for Austin Energy, it also signifies a productive and successful partnership as we continue to help this progressive customer grow its renewable portfolio."
Austin Energy is purchasing the power and associated renewable energy credits from the 200-megawatt (MW) wind farm under a 25-year agreement, increasing the total output purchased from Duke Energy Renewables to more than 500 MW.
"The completion of Los Vientos III means that Austin Energys wind portfolio has now surpassed 1,000 MW, which is nearly a third of our total generating capacity," said Larry Weis, general manager of Austin Energy. "We are very excited to reach this major milestone."
Austin Energy also will purchase the output of the 200-MW Los Vientos IV wind farm under construction in Starr County, with an expected completion date in 2016.
"The leaders, landowners and people of Starr County have been tremendous partners as weve worked together to boost economic development in this community," said Graham Furlong, Duke Energy Renewables development executive. "We appreciate the support of the county, local school districts and the hospital. Were proud to continue our work with them to bring renewable energy to the area and be a source of landowner income and dependable tax revenue for years to come."
Los Vientos III is located approximately 100 miles west of Brownsville near Rio Grande City. In addition to Los Vientos IV, Los Vientos V, in the same proximity, is currently under construction.
Vestas supplied 100 V110-2.0 MW turbines for Los Vientos III and will service the project under a three-year operations and maintenance agreement. The company will also provide turbines for Los Vientos IV and V.
"We're very proud of our partnership with Duke and of the role weve played in helping Duke and Austin Energy meet these milestones," said Chris Brown, president of Vestas sales and service division in the United States and Canada. "The Duke team is emerging as a renewable energy powerhouse. We are pleased to work with them and appreciate their confidence in us."
Amshore US Wind provided development support for the project.
The project was constructed by Wanzek Construction.
Duke Energy Renewables projects under operation in Texas:
- 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
Link to photographs of the Los Vientos projects
About Duke Energy Renewables
Duke Energy Renewables, part of Duke Energys Commercial Portfolio, is a leader in developing innovative wind and solar energy generation projects for customers throughout the United States. The companys growing portfolio of commercial renewable assets includes 16 wind farms and 24 solar farms in operation in 12 states, totaling more than 2 gigawatts in electric-generating capacity. Learn more at www.duke-energy.com/renewables.
Headquartered in Charlotte, N.C., Duke Energy is a Fortune 250 company traded on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol DUK. More information about the company is available at www.duke-energy.com.
About Austin Energy
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, Texas.
Austin Energys governing body is the City Council of Austin. 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 62 percent more than its closest competitor. 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 enough to power about four million households. Vestas employs about 2,500 people throughout the United States and Canada at four manufacturing facilities in Colorado, service and construction sites, and sales offices. Vestas U.S. and Canadian sales and service headquarters is in Portland, Ore., and its global headquarters is in Aarhus, Denmark. To learn more, visit www.vestas.com.