Enel Green Power starts construction of wind farm expansion in United States

Aurel Constantin 19/06/2020 | 13:13

Enel Green Power started construction on the 199 MW expansion of the Cimarron Bend wind farm in Clark County, Kansas. The expansion, consisting of 74 turbines, will increase the wind farm’s capacity to 599 MW from the current 400 MW, making it the largest wind farm in Enel’s North American portfolio. The project, with an investment of over USD 281 million, is expected to be completed by the end of 2020.

“As one of the largest renewable power producers in North America, Enel Green Power is committed to excellence in not only developing and constructing new projects but also strategically expanding our existing fleet,” said Antonio Cammisecra, CEO of Enel Green Power. “The expansion of Cimarron Bend is a testament to both the maturity of our wind operations and our commitment to growing a portfolio of state-of-the-art renewable plants that will generate value for many years to come, while providing sustainable energy.”

Cimarron Bend’s first two phases entered into service in 2016 and 2017, involving an overall investment of over USD 891 million. Upon completion of the 199 MW addition, Cimarron Bend will generate a total of more than 2.7 TWh per year, equivalent to avoiding 1.8 million tons of CO2 emissions.

The electricity from a 150 MW portion of the expansion is being sold under a 15-year bundled power purchase agreement (PPA) with electric services company Evergy. The PPA will include support for Evergy’s Renewables Direct program, which allows commercial and industrial customers to offset a percentage of their energy usage through renewable sources. In January, Evergy committed to reducing carbon emissions 80% below 2005 levels by 2050.

“As we continue implementing more renewable energy into our overall generation mix, Evergy is pleased to partner with Enel on this expansion project to add to our total wind capacity,” said Kevin Brannan, Evergy Manager of Products and Solutions, Renewable Sources. “This helps us reduce carbon emissions and increases our wind energy levels, which leads us toward more sustainable operations and ultimately benefits our customers.”

A Missouri Public Utility Alliance (MPUA) joint action agency, the Missouri Joint Municipal Electric Utility Commission (MJMEUC), which supplies municipal power for more than 60 communities in Missouri and Arkansas, will purchase the output of a 30 MW portion of the project under a 12-year bundled PPA.

“Adding wind power from Cimarron Bend to our power portfolio provides our member utilities more energy price stability and lower costs,” said Ewell Lawson, MPUA Vice President for External Affairs. “It will boost the diversity of the energy sources supplying 35 of our community-owned member systems, adding an additional 50% to their renewable portfolio.”

The power and renewable energy credits from the original 400 MW portion of Cimarron Bend are sold under bundled, long-term PPAs with Google and the Kansas City Board of Public Utilities (BPU).

Enel Green Power is closely following the status of the COVID-19 pandemic and is responding to protect the health of its workers and the community where it operates. In North America, the company has enacted strict travel guidelines, stepped up office and project site sanitation and implemented ways for office employees to conduct their jobs remotely and follow safe working practices if and when on-site. At the Cimarron Bend site, crews are implementing safe working practices and operations have been structured to maintain social distancing as well as other best practices. Furthermore, as part of its USD 1.3 million commitment in response to the COVID-19 pandemic across the US and Canada, the company dedicated USD 69,000 to food security organizations and first responders in Kansas.

Across the US and Canada, Enel Green Power is constructing nearly 1 GW of new wind and solar capacity in 2020. Other Enel Green Power construction projects include the 245 MW second phase of the Roadrunner solar project in Texas, the 236.5 MW White Cloud wind project in Missouri and the 299 MW Aurora wind project in North Dakota.

Enel Green Power in North America is a leading owner and operator of renewable energy plants with a presence in 18 US states and one Canadian province. The company operates 70 plants with a managed capacity of around 5.8 GW powered by hydro, wind, geothermal and solar energy.

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