SMUD completes Solano Wind Project

The Sacramento Municipal Utility District (SMUD) has announced the completion of Phase 3 of its Solano Wind Project. Completed on time and $5 million dollars under budget, Phase 3 will join the existing fleet in the Collinsville-Montezuma Hills Wind Resource Area in Solano County, Calif. Phase 3, which is composed of 55 turbines, adds 128 MW of capacity to the SMUD grid.

The project now has a total generating capacity of 230 MW. A unique aspect of the project is the way 1.8 MW machines were mixed with 3 MW machines. The 31, 1.8 MW machines generate more power at low wind speeds while the 24, 3 MW machines are more effective at high wind speeds. The combination of the two models is expected to increase annual power production compared to standard layouts.

Vestas manufactured the wind turbines, including many of the main components, at its Colorado factories and will maintain them under a long-term contract.

A unit of Citigroup purchased the Phase 3 turbines in a financial transaction that is expected to save SMUD customers $60 million to $70 million over the next six years.

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