Duke Energy Renewables, part of Duke Energy's Commercial Businesses (NYSE: DUK), announced the completion of its largest-ever wind power construction projects, Los Vientos I and II in south Texas, adding 402 megawatts (MW) to the company's renewables fleet.
"2012 was a very significant year for us," said Duke Energy Renewables President Greg Wolf. "With five new windpower projects and three new solar power projects commissioned into service, we added 800 megawatts of clean, emissions-free energy to our fleet last year alone. Now that Los Vientos I and II are on line, our total renewable power capacity grows to more than 1,700 MW, enough to power about half-million homes."
All of the output and associated renewable energy credits from the 200 MW Los Vientos I wind power project in Willacy County are being sold to San Antonio-based CPS Energy under a 25-year agreement.
Austin Energy is buying all of the output and associated renewable energy credits from the 202 MW Los Vientos II wind power Project, sited in Willacy and Cameron Counties.
"We're proud to be partnering with CPS Energy and Austin Energy to bring renewable energy to this region," said Duke Energy Renewables Vice President Milton Howard.
"And, we couldn't have done it without the foresight of the leaders, landowners and people of Willacy County. Thanks to them, we were able to bring 600 jobs to the area during construction, and going forward, the Los Vientos projects will continue to boost economic development, support the local school districts, and be a source of dependable tax revenue for years to come."
Both phases of Los Vientos were completed and placed into service on time -- based on customer agreements -- in late December. Because of their geographical location, approximately 120 miles south of Corpus Christi and 20 miles inland from the Gulf of Mexico, these projects will generate the majority of their power during the day, when peak power demand is highest.
Duke Energy Renewables will hold a ribbon cutting ceremony and community open house at the Los Vientos operations and maintenance building on Jan. 26.
In addition to the two Los Vientos wind farms, Duke Energy Renewables completed three other wind power projects in 2012, including:
- 168-MW Ironwood wind power project in Ford County, Kan.
- 131-MW Cimarron II wind power project in Gray County, Kan.
- 69-MW Laurel Hill wind power project in Lycoming County, Pa.
Duke Energy also has three other wind power projects in Texas: Sweetwater in Nolan County; Ocotillo in Howard County; and Notrees in Ector and Winkler Counties. Since 2007, Duke Energy has invested more than $2.5 billion to grow its commercial wind and solar business.