RES Americas is the developer and engineering, procurement, and construction (EPC) contractor of Pleasant Valley. The company successfully developed the project over a number of years in close coordination with county and state officials and through the assembly of a landowner stakeholder committee to represent the community. Upon completion, RES Americas will transfer the project to Xcel Energy which will own and operate Pleasant Valley.
“RES Americas is pleased to continue our collaboration with Xcel, enabling us to deliver economic and environmental benefits to southeastern Minnesota,” said Glen Davis, Chief Commercial Officer of RES Americas.
Pleasant Valley will deploy efficient, cutting edge technology to generate carbon-free electricity while providing meaningful cost savings to Xcel Energy’s customers.
The 200 megawatt (MW) project is comprised of 100 V100-2.0 MW Vestas turbines, 88 of which will be in Mower County and 12 of which will be in Dodge County. During the planning phase, RES Americas selected the turbine locations so as to preserve the site’s wetlands and other biological, natural, and cultural resources. Construction of Pleasant Valley is expected to begin in July 2014 with projected commercial operation in October 2015. The project is expected to employ up to 250 workers during peak construction.
The project is expected to qualify for the Federal Production Tax Credit (PTC), and it is anticipated that it will generate nearly$950,000 in annual local tax revenue that will be split pro rata between the counties and townships.
Xcel Energy estimates that Pleasant Valley will avoid up to 419,000 tons of carbon dioxide emissions annually. The Vestas V100-2.0 MW turbine, launched in 2013, generates approximately 13% more energy than earlier models at medium wind speeds. It is expected that the cost of energy generated by the project will be competitive with or below wholesale power prices in the region.
“The Pleasant Valley project is one of four new wind projects under development that will add 750 megawatts of clean wind energy to our Upper Midwest system,” said Dave Sparby, president and CEO of Northern States Power Co.-Minnesota, an Xcel Energy company.
These projects will lower our customers’ bills, offer protection from rising fuel costs, and provide significant environmental benefits.
RES Americas currently has more than 770 MW of wind and solar power under construction in the United States and Canada. The company recently completed construction on Canada’s largest wind project, the 270 MW South Kent Wind Project in Ontario, and Texas’ largest solar photovoltaic project, the 41 MW Alamo 1 facility in San Antonio.
ST Staff Writers
This post was prepared by Solar Thermal Magazine staff.