US-based energy company Pattern Energy Group has commenced the construction of the 218MW Panhandle wind project in Texas Panhandle, US after securing required financing.
GE subsidiary GE Energy Financial Services and Citigroup unit Citigroup Global Markets will invest structured equity in the power plant project.
Mortenson, which was selected for the construction of the project, will install 118 GE 1.85MW turbines, while the contract also includes a 345kV substation, transmission line and other operations facility.
The project will utilise Texas' new competitive renewable energy zone (CREZ) transmission infrastructure connecting to the state's main power grid operator, Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT).
As part of a long-term hedge offtake agreement, power from the Panhandle Wind project, located on 18,000 acres in Carson County around 30 miles from Amarillo, will be supplied to Citigroup Energy.
Pattern Energy CEO Mike Garland said the project would be among the first initiatives in the Texas Panhandle to connect to the new CREZ transmission lines.
"This project will provide multiple benefits to Carson County and its residents, including more than 200 construction jobs, at least 12 permanent operations and maintenance positions, and clean energy for up to 60,000 Texan homes without using any of the region's limited water supplies," Garland said.
Once fully operational, the plant is expected to avoid approximately 460,000 metric tonnes of greenhouse gas emissions a year, which is equivalent to the annual emissions from 96,000 US passenger vehicles.
Construction of the project is scheduled to be completed in August 2014.
Image: DOE Wind Resource Map. Photo: courtesy of GE.