Construction Starts on Amazon Wind Farm Project in Indiana

Armow wind power facility
Pattern Energy project in Manitoba

Construction is ramping up at the Amazon Wind Farm (Fowler Ridge) project. Pattern Energy Group LP  today announced the closing of financing on the 150 megawatt (MW) Amazon Wind Farm (Fowler Ridge) project located in Benton County, Indiana. The project has entered into a 13-year power purchase agreement with Amazon to supply electricity to the electric grids that service Amazon Web Services, Inc. (AWS) datacenters.

“The Amazon Wind Farm project has successfully closed financing and is moving ahead on schedule,” said Mike Garland, President and CEO of Pattern Development. “We look forward to helping Amazon power its customers’ businesses with domestic clean energy harnessed from the winds of Indiana. We are now working with Amazon, Google and Walmart, demonstrating that America’s leading corporations are increasingly investing in, or buying power from, non-polluting energy sources like wind power. We see this growing trend driving the development of more new projects.”

The Amazon Wind Farm  project will utilize 65 Siemens 2.3 MW turbines with ‘Made in America’ components. The turbine blades are being manufactured at the Siemens factory in Ft. Madison, Iowa and the nacelles are being assembled at the Siemens facility in Hutchinson, Kansas. The turbine towers will be sourced from Michigan and Wisconsin. Transformers for the project will be manufactured at the Siemens facility in Richland, Mississippi.

“Siemens is proud that our ‘Made in America’ wind components will be used at the Amazon Wind Farm. Wind power is an increasingly important part of our nation’s energy mix, and this project is part of a growing trend we see in the U.S. of technology companies and leading corporations investing in wind power,” said Jacob Andersen, CEO Onshore Americas, Siemens Wind Power and Renewables Division. “Our goal is to provide the most efficient and reliable equipment to ensure that wind energy is both sustainable and affordable.  We’re pleased to continue our long relationship with Pattern Development and Pattern Energy, and Siemens technicians will work to ensure optimal performance of this equipment.”

The Amazon Wind Farm (Fowler Ridge) project will employ approximately 300 skilled workers on-site at the peak of construction activity and create up to 15 permanent jobs once operational. The project is expected to start generating power in the fourth quarter of 2015. Mortenson Construction will manage construction of the project. Local contractors will be utilized during construction and operations.

“We’re delighted to partner once again with Pattern Development on our 13th project together and to help bring a substantial number of jobs to the Benton County area,” said Tim Maag, vice president and general manager of Mortenson Construction’s Wind Energy Group. “We’re very excited to see progressive companies like Amazon continuing to make long-term investments in wind energy and furthering the growth of our industry.”

The project will create many economic benefits, including adding an estimated $40 million over 25 years into the regional economy through local construction contracts, property tax payments to Benton County, royalties to participating landowners, and support for local causes.

Upon completion, the Amazon Wind Farm (Fowler Ridge) project is expected to generate approximately 500,000 megawatt hours (MWh) of wind power annually, or the equivalent of that used by approximately 46,000 US homes, based on the U.S. Energy Information Administration’s estimate of average annual electricity consumption for a U.S. residential utility customer. Compared to coal-fired generation, the project will conserve enough water to meet the annual needs of 8,000 people, based on the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s water consumption rates for U.S. coal plants.

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This post was prepared by Solar Thermal Magazine staff.

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