Wind Farms Whistle Across North America
Valero Energy Corporation, one of the largest oil and gas refiners in North America, has begun
its Phase I operation of a 50-megawatt (MW) windfarm located in McKee, TX. Just north of Amarillo, the McKee Windfarm will be constructed in two phases.
Initiated in December 2008, energy production from six General Electric (GE) 1.5-MW wind turbines of Phase I has been commissioned for startup. Phase II will consist of 27 GE 1.5-MW wind turbines expected to be erected and ready before the end of June 2009.
Though Texas has the largest installed capacity of wind power in the United States, Iowa also is a recognized leader in the development of wind-generated electricity. By successfully attracting such top turbine manufacturers as Siemens, Clipper and TPI Composites, Iowa has established itself as the major wind-turbine manufacturing hub in North America.
Acciona, a Spanish turbine manufacturer with operations in Iowa, awaits environmental approval for a 103.5-MW windfarm to be built in the Coquimbo region of Chile. And while Acciona lies in wait, construction has already been completed on two other windfarms in North America.
Central Plains Power LLC is in the commissioning stages of the Central Plains windfarm project, which broke ground in June 2008. Located in Marienthal, Kansas, the project consists of a 99-megawatt farm developed by RES and owned and operated by Westar.
Also, Cartier Wind Energy LLC has begun full commercial operation of the $110 million, 110-MW Carleton Windfarm in Québec, Canada. Comprised of 73 wind turbines, the farm should generate 340,000 MW per hour of energy per year.