Located in Kay County, Oklahoma, the 200MW Frontier wind farm is powered by Vestas turbines. Credit: Duke Energy.
The Frontier Windpower project started operations in December 2016. Credit: Duke Energy.
Power generated from the wind farm is sold to the City Utilities of Springfield. Credit: pasja1000 on Pixabay.

The Frontier Windpower Project is a 200MW wind farm developed by Duke Energy Renewables, a subsidiary of Duke Energy, in Oklahoma, US.

Operational since December 2016, the onshore wind farm is part of a two-phase development which also involved the construction of the Frontier Windpower II project in Kay County, Oklahoma. The 350MW Frontier Windpower II project, which represents an expansion of the Frontier Windpower Project, was commissioned in March 2021.

The Frontier Windpower Project powers approximately 60,000 American homes, with the power generated from the wind farm being sold to the City Utilities of Springfield, a community-owned utility in Missouri.

Duke Energy owns, operates and contracts 8,000MW of wind, biomass and solar energy in the US, with plans to double the capacity to 16,000MW by 2025. It aims to cut CO₂ emissions from electricity generation by more than 50% by 2030 with 2005 as the base year.

Frontier Windpower Project location and details

The Frontier power project is located in Kay County, east of Blackwell and about 90 minutes north of Oklahoma City. Spread across 9,000 acres belonging to 42 landowners, the wind farm is powered by Vestas’ wind turbines. The commissioning of the wind power plant allowed Duke Energy Renewables to increase its wind power capacity in the US to more than 2GW.

Frontier was the company’s first project in Oklahoma. It also marked the first deployment of Vestas’ 126m rotors in the US. Each turbine has a 126m diameter rotor placed on an 87m tall tower. The V126-3.3 MW turbine provides energy at a competitive cost when compared to the traditional 2MW turbine model. The project generated approximately 250 jobs during the peak construction phase and ten full-time jobs upon commencement of operations.

Power purchase agreement

City Utilities of Springfield signed a power purchase agreement with Duke Energy Renewables to secure power from the Frontier Windpower Project for 22 years. The agreement was signed to secure the utility’s future energy demands. The energy from Frontier Windpower, combined with other renewable energy projects, increased the share of renewable energy in the utility’s total energy demand to approximately 36%. The power generated from the wind farm is fed into Oklahoma Gas & Electric’s 345kV substation facility and from there is supplied to Duke Energy’s collector substation, then to the transmission system of the Southwest Power Pool and finally to City Utilities.

Contractors involved

Wanzek Construction served as the engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) contractor of the project. It performed civil and foundation engineering and installation, collection system installation, transmission line installation, and turbine offload and erection activities. Blackwell Industrial Authority provided operations and maintenance building for the wind farm.

Vestas was selected as the turbine supplier for the Frontier Windpower Project. The contract included the installation and commissioning of the V126-3.3 MW turbines. Vestas also supplied the turbines for Duke Energy’s wind projects in Texas.

Amshore US Wind was contracted to provide development support for the wind farm and Energy Renewal Partners (ERP) provided environmental and consulting services, including detailed constraints analysis of the project site and the creation of a regulatory compliance and project development plan. The firm’s biologists and scientists performed habitat assessments and coordinated with regulators to ensure construction was streamlined.

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