Houston, Texas [RenewableEnergyAccess.com]
Texas retail electric provider Direct Energy signed a 10-year power purchase agreement (PPA) with Arlington, Virginia-based AES Corporation's (AES) Buffalo Gap Wind Farm 2 to purchase the output and associated renewable energy credits (RECs) from the 233 megawatt (MW) project currently under construction by AES near Abilene, Texas.
This is Direct Energy's third utility-scale wind power contract in Texas.
The project, Buffalo Gap 2, is an expansion of the company's 121 MW Buffalo Gap wind farm, which began operations near Abilene earlier this year. Once completed, the two projects will comprise one of the largest operating wind farms in the U.S. and will have the capacity to generate enough energy to power approximately 100,000 homes in Texas.
This latest agreement builds on Direct Energy's portfolio of renewable supply in the state, which includes a previously announced 15-year power purchase agreement for 120 MW from AES's original Buffalo Gap Wind Farm located near Abilene, Texas.
The Buffalo Gap 2 expansion is currently being developed adjacent to the original wind farm by AES, who will also manage and operate it after it achieves commercial operation, which is expected during the summer of 2007.
"We were pleased to participate in the expansion phase of AES's Buffalo Gap wind project. This is Direct Energy's third utility-scale wind power contract in Texas," said Jay Hellums, Senior Vice President and head of U.S. Energy Management for Direct Energy. "We consider AES to be a world-class developer of energy infrastructure and a proven business ally in renewable energy."
AES purchased 155 GE 1.5 MW wind turbine generators for the project. D.H. Blattner & Sons, Inc. is the engineering, procurement and construction contractor for the project. Commercial operation is expected in mid-2007.