Hereford Wind Project in Texas Becomes Operational

Hereford wind project, Texas
200-megawatt Hereford Wind Project in Texas. (Photo: Business Wire)

EDF Renewable Energy announced today that the 200-megawatt (MW) Hereford Wind Project in Texas reached commercial operation (COD) on December 22, 2014. In addition, tax equity financing closed with BNY Mellon and MUFG Union Bank, N.A. Financial details were not disclosed.

Encompassing approximately 15,000 acres in Deaf Smith County, southeast of the town of Hereford, the project commenced construction of 54 GE 1.85-megawatt, and 50 Vestas V100 2.0-megawatt wind turbines in November 2013. The project feeds into the CREZ (Competitive Renewable Energy Zone) transmission infrastructure which enables the high electricity demand areas in the state to access the strong low-cost renewable generation resources of West Texas and the Texas Panhandle. The power is sold into the ERCOT (Electric Reliability Council of Texas) power market and covered by a long-term, fixed-price hedge agreement for a portion of the expected energy production.

“The decision to build the Hereford project in mid-2013 was critical to anchor EDF Renewable Energy’s 2014 and 2015 project pipeline. We leveraged the excellent development done by Lincoln Renewable Energy along with our financial and development strength with our first-tier equipment supplier and contractor relationships to successfully build the project on-time,” commented Tristan Grimbert, President and CEO of EDF Renewable Energy. “With the Hereford project in operation, the Group’s installed capacity since entering the Texas market in 2012 reaches 672 MW with another 394 MW in construction.”

Hereford Wind will generate enough electricity to power approximately 55,000 homes – according to US Energy Environmental Protection Agency methodology – avoiding approximately 375,000 metric tons of greenhouse gas emissions per year, the equivalent of the annual emissions from approximately 80,000 passenger vehicles.

EDF Renewable Services will provide long-term operations and maintenance for the facility, balance of plant, project oversight, and 24/7 remote monitoring from its NERC compliant Operations Control Center (OCC). The OCC provides an efficient, reliable, and secure operating platform, while benefiting from the centralization of SCADA (Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition) functions and consolidation of multiple vendor SCADA environments to provide a common operating view. EDF Renewable Services is an industry leader, providing O&M services to more than 9 gigawatts of renewable energy projects across North America.

BNY Mellon, a global leader in investment management and investment services, has a long-standing commitment to supporting high quality projects that have a positive social impact as well as attractive risk-adjusted financial returns.

MUFG is among the nation’s leading financial solutions provider for renewable energy projects. MUFG owns interests in power generation facilities representing generation capacity of approximately 3.7 GW in renewables in the United States and currently is No. 1 in the Americas and North America in the Project Finance League Tables.

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This post was prepared by Solar Thermal Magazine staff.