The 225MW Great Western wind project in Woodward and Ellis counties, Oklahoma, US, is developed, owned and operated by EDF Renewable Energy (EDF RE), a subsidiary of EDF Energies Nouvelles.

The development of the Great Western wind farm is in line with EDF Energies Nouvelles’ CAP 2030 strategy to double the company’s renewable energy capacity by 2030. Construction of the plant was initiated in the first quarter of 2016 and completed in December of the same year. EDF commenced commercial operations of the plant in January 2017.

The plant can generate enough electricity to power 70,000 average homes in the state, according to the US Energy Information Administration. The generated power will offset more than 600,000Mt of annual CO₂ emissions, which is equivalent to the emissions produced by 125,000 passenger vehicles in a year.

The wind project is expected to generate more than $25m in property taxes for the Ellis and Woodward counties.

Great Western wind project details

EDF’s wind power project in Oklahoma features 30 V117 wind turbines, with a rated capacity of 3.3MW, and 51 V100 turbines, with a rated capacity of 2.2MW.

The V100 turbines feature a 100m-diameter rotor and 49m-long blades, which can maximise the power output of low-to-medium wind sites by delivering a high rotor-to-generator ratio. The V-117 turbines feature a 117m-diameter rotor and 52.3m-long blades.

“The generated power will offset more than 600,000Mt of annual CO₂ emissions, which is equivalent to the emissions produced by 125,000 passenger vehicles in a year.”

Installed with full-scale converter technologies, the turbines provide energy output in all wind and weather conditions.

Power purchase agreements for the Great Western wind farm

In December 2015, EDF RE signed a long-term power purchase agreement (PPA) with Google, according to which, the entire power produced by the plant will be sold to the search engine company.

The output will be used to power Google’s data centre in Mayes County, Oklahoma. The PPA is the second such agreement signed by the tech giant and will contribute to its objective to power all of its operations, including those of data centres and offices, with 100% renewable energy in 2017.

Google announced its plans to purchase power from EDF’s wind plant at the 21st Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (COP21) held in Paris, France.

With the new agreement, Google’s renewable portfolio has reached approximately 2.6GW of wind and solar energy, making it the world’s first and biggest company to purchase renewable energy.

Grid connection

The Great Western wind farm is interconnected to the transmission system owned by the Southwestern Public Service and operated by the Southwest Power Pool (SPP).

Contractors involved with the Great Western wind project

The turbines for the wind project were supplied by Vestas Wind Systems. Construction of the plant was carried out by EDF RE.

Power off-take from EDF’s wind farms

EDF commissioned four wind farms in the US, with a combined installed capacity of 708MW, between December 2016 and January 2017. The four wind farms include the 125.6MW Tyler Bluff wind project and 174MW Salt Fork wind farm in northern Texas, the 184MW Kelly Creek wind farm in north-east Illinois, and the Great Western wind farm in Oklahoma.

Of the four projects, power produced by three of the farms will be sold to multinational companies as part of their commitments to reduce their carbon footprint. Procter & Gamble will purchase 96MW of the energy produced by the Tyler Bluff project to power its Fabric & Home Care plants in North America, while a part of the power generated by the Salt Fork project will be sold to Salesforce.

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