Enel and GE Soar to New Heights at Texas Wind Farm with Tallest Turbine Towers in U.S.
Enel SpA, through its subsidiary Enel North America, Inc., announced recently the completion of a wind farm in Texas with the tallest utility-scale wind turbines in the United States as well as investments by an affiliate of GE Energy Financial Services, the energy investing unit of GE.
The Snyder Wind project in Scurry County, Texas, between Abilene and Lubbock, comprises 21 Vestas V90 3,0 MW wind turbines mounted on towers measuring a record-breaking 105 m. Construction was completed in December 2007.
"The Snyder project takes both wind and Enel to new heights," said Toni Volpe, Enel North America CEO. "The project represents the first of several wind farms slated to come online in the next 12 months which will more than triple Enel North America's wind capacity by the end of 2008. Enel is pleased to add this innovative project to its global renewable energy portfolio."
GE Energy Financial Services affiliates also intend to help Enel grow by investing in a 101 MW project at Smoky Hills, Kansas. The investment in the Snyder and Smoky Hills projects marks the first transaction by affiliates of GE Energy Financial Services with Enel in wind power. Financial details were not disclosed.
The Snyder project - where the turbine towers are so tall because wind conditions are best at that height - will produce energy sufficient to power more than 12 000 average Texas homes annually. Snyder Wind will be operated and maintained by Enel North America, Inc. Power will be sold into the Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT). Snyder and Fortis Energy Marketing & Trading, a division of Fortis Merchant Banking, have entered into an approximately 1,1 million MWh, 10 year fixed-price hedge agreement that will provide revenue stability and accommodate wind seasonality.
The Smoky Hills, Kansas Wind project, in Ellsworth and Lincoln counties, 225 km west of Topeka, will employ 56 Vestas V80 1,8 MW wind turbines. The project, developed by TradeWind Energy LLC and purchased by Enel in 2007, is expected to be completed early this year.
The Smoky Hills project will produce energy sufficient to power more than 37 000 average Kansas homes annually. Power generated by Smoky Hills will be sold through power purchase agreements with Sunflower Electric Power Corporation, Kansas City Board of Public Utilities and Midwest Energy Inc.
Enel purchased the interest and rights to Snyder in October 2006 from Windkraft Nord USA, Inc (WKN). As the turn-key developer of the project, WKN procured the turbines and remained involved in Snyder as the construction manager.
With these two investments, GE Energy Financial Services holds equity in 81 wind farms worldwide, with a capacity to produce more than 3000 MW of electricity.