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Cameron County, Texas, USA

Los Vientos Windpower 1A

Status: Completed construction

Background

The electricity generated by the project will be delivered to the Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT) power grid at its Rio Hondo substation. ERCOT manages the flow of electricity to 23 million Texas customers—representing 85% of the state’s electric load. In 2011, approximately 9% of the electricity generated in the ERCOT power grid
was supplied by renewable sources, including biomass, geothermal, hydroelectric, solar, and wind resources, while 91% was supplied by
coal, natural gas, and nuclear power plants. The electricity produced by the project will be consumed in the lower Rio Grande Valley area, also known as the East Valley area load.

The electricity produced by the project will be sold to City Public Service of San Antonio (CPS Energy), the nation’s largest municipallyowned energy utility, providing service to nearly 717,000 electric and 325,000 natural gas customers covering portions of Bexar, Atascosa, Bandera, Comal, Guadalupe, Kendall, Medina and Wilson Counties in
Texas. CPS has set an ambitious goal of achieving renewable energy capacity—including wind, solar, and landfill gas—equal to 1,500 MW or approximately 20% of its total generation capacity by 2020. As of the close of fiscal year 2011, the energy generated or purchased by CPS was mainly from coal (47%) and nuclear reactors (32%), while wind power accounted for approximately 9%.

Description

The project consists of designing, constructing and operating a 200.1-megawatt (MW) wind farm. The main components of the Project include:

  • Installation of 87 wind turbines, each with a nominal capacity of 2.3 MW
  • Construction of a substation to step up the energy produced before transferring it to the authorized interconnection point on the state grid
  • an 8.5 mile transmission line to connect to the wind farm to the Texas grid
  • a SCADA system for remote monitoring and control.

Benefits

The project will increase installed capacity of renewable energy resources, reducing the demand on traditional fossil-fuel-based energy production and contributing to the displacement of greenhouse gas emissions and other pollutants from power generation by fossil fuels. Estimated emission improvements include the displacement of 460,000 metric tons of carbon dioxide (CO2), nearly 800 metric tons of sulfur dioxide (SO2), and 380 metric tons of nitrogen oxides (NOx) per year.

Project Financing

Total Project Cost Reserved
NADB Funding US 110M - NADB Loan