CHARLOTTE, N.C. - Duke Energy Renewables, a commercial business unit of Duke Energy, today announced it will build two large-scale wind power facilities in South Texas.
Duke Energy Renewables will build, own and operate the Los Vientos III and IV Windpower Projects, sited approximately 100 miles west of Brownsville near Rio Grande City in Starr County. Each will produce 200 megawatts (MW) of emissions-free electricity, enough to collectively power about 120,000 homes.
Austin Energy will purchase the output and associated renewable energy credits from the wind farms under two 25-year agreements.
"We are pleased to again be bringing jobs, economic development and clean, affordable electricity to Texas, where we have our largest presence," said Duke Energy Renewables President Greg Wolf. "We're also glad to be working again with Austin Energy on projects that further their commitment to investing in renewable power."
Austin Energy also purchases the power from Duke Energy Renewables' Los Vientos II Windpower Project in Willacy and Cameron Counties.
"Austin Energy has among the most aggressive renewable energy goals in the country and these two new wind projects with Duke Energy will help us meet our 35 percent renewable energy goal four years ahead of schedule," said Austin Energy General Manager Larry Weis. "They will also help push our wind portfolio to more than 1,000 MW, which is nearly a third of our total generation."
Duke Energy Renewables will begin construction of the projects in the fourth quarter of this year, with an in-service date expected in early 2015 for Los Vientos III and mid-2016 for Los Vientos IV.
Duke Energy Renewables Vice President Milton Howard, project developer, said, "We are proud to be partnering with Austin Energy and the leaders, landowners and people of Starr County. Thanks to them, we will be able to bring jobs to the area during project construction, and once complete, Los Vientos III and IV will continue to boost economic development, support the local school districts, and be a source of dependable tax revenue for years to come."
Vestas will supply 200 2-MW turbines for the two wind projects.
Once in operation, the 400 MW produced by Los Vientos III and IV will bring Duke Energy's total wind-generated capacity to more than 2,000 MW, which firmly establishes Duke Energy Renewables in the top 10 for wind production in the country.
Duke Energy's Renewable Power Projects 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
About Duke Energy Renewables
Duke Energy Renewables, part of Duke Energy's Commercial Businesses, 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 15 wind farms and 15 solar farms in operation in twelve states, totaling more than 1,700 megawatts 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 on the Internet at: www.duke-energy.com.
About Austin Energy
Austin Energy is the nation's 8th largest publically-owned electric utility in Austin, Texas. The utility serves more than 420,000 customers and a population of almost one million within the City of Austin, Travis County and a small portion of Williamson County. Austin Energy provides exceptional electric system reliability and significant expertise in serving power-sensitive industries such as high tech manufacturing. Austin Energy has a total generation portfolio of nearly 3,000 MW. Approximately 25% of the electricity comes from renewable energy resources, mainly wind power. Austin Energy has aggressive goals to achieve 35% of its energy from renewable resources by 2020 and reduce carbon emission levels 20% below those reached in 2005. Austin Energy has built some of the most comprehensive energy efficiency programs in the nation and developed the nation's first Green Building Program. In recent years, Austin Energy has become a recognized leader in the area of electric vehicles and public charging stations.
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.