Pattern Energy Group LP (PEG LP) has announced that it has closed the financing and started construction of its Panhandle Wind project, a 218 megawatt (MW) wind power project located in the Texas Panhandle. The Project is utilizing Texas’ new Competitive Renewable Energy Zone (CREZ) transmission infrastructure, which connects to the state’s main power grid operator, Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT).
“The Panhandle Wind Project will be among the first projects in the Texas Panhandle to connect to the new CREZ transmission lines, which PEG LP was instrumental in bringing to fruition,” said Mike Garland, CEO of PEG LP. “This Project will provide multiple benefits to Carson County and its residents, including more than 200 construction jobs, at least 12 permanent operations and maintenance positions, and clean energy for up to 60,000 Texas homes without using any of the region’s limited water supplies. Over the life of the project millions of dollars in property taxes will be paid to Carson County, the White Deer and Panhandle School Districts, and the Panhandle Groundwater Conservation District. Further, many millions more will be paid in landowner royalty payments and community benefits.”
Upon completion of construction, PEG LP will donate over $800,000 to establish the Panhandle Wind Community Fund to support civic and educational causes in Carson County. Panhandle Wind will continue to make annual contributions to the Community Fund over the next decade.
“This important project marks a major milestone for Carson County and the Texas Panhandle, as it represents the culmination of many years of effort to obtain access to the ERCOT market that covers the other 85% of the State of Texas,” said Lewis Powers, Carson County Judge. “I commend Pattern Energy Group LP for their vision and perseverance in helping make the CREZ transmission lines a reality, and thereby creating the opportunity for significant additional wind energy development in Carson County. This project will provide lasting benefits to not only those landowners with turbines on their property, but to the county, our schools and to all citizens of Carson County.”
Mortenson is overseeing construction of Panhandle Wind, which will use 118 GE 1.85 megawatt turbines, as well as construction of a 345 kV substation, transmission line and operations facility. Completion is estimated in August 2014.
“We are delighted to partner with Pattern Energy Group LP on our 11th project together—particularly one that will have such a positive impact on the local community,” said Tim Maag, VP and general manager of Mortenson Construction’s U.S. Wind Energy Group. “We expect to create between 200 and 250 jobs during the peak of construction and many of those jobs will come from Carson County and the surrounding areas. In addition, construction spending with local businesses and suppliers, coupled with dollars spent in the area's hotels, restaurants, and living facilities, will be a significant boost to the local economy."
Panhandle Wind will sell power to Citigroup Energy Inc. under a long-term hedge offtake agreement. GE Energy Financial Services and Citigroup Global Markets, Inc. will invest structured equity in the project. PEG LP – which developed the Project and is serving as the project’s managing member and will provide operations and maintenance – is receiving construction loans from BayernLB, Credit Agricole Corporate and Investment Bank, Nord/LB, Landesbank Baden-Wuerttemberg, RBC, RBS, and Societe Generale.
Compared to coal-fired generation, the Panhandle Wind project will offset approximately 903,000 tons of CO2 each year, the equivalent of taking more than 177,000 cars off the roads.
Pattern Energy Group LP