Project Development, Wind Power

Texas to Install Wind Ranch

Electricity will flow later this year from a new wind farm to be constructed near Amarillo, Texas.

AMARILLO, Texas – Cielo Wind Power, LLC and Xcel Energy’s Southwestern Public Service Company will build a 80 megawatt wind farm near White Deer. Construction on the Llano Estacado Wind Ranch will begin in July, and the 80 turbines will be installed in six months. Cielo will be project developer and owner of the site, and will sell the electrical output to Xcel Energy under a 15-year contract. The wind power will diversify the fuel sources for Xcel in its 52,000-square-mile service area. The wind farm will feature Mitsubishi turbines that can generate 1 MW each. The units stand 226 feet tall and weigh 160 tons each, with three blades and a diameter of 184 feet. The 80 MW generation will offset the use of 130 million gallons of water compared to coal-fired production or 114 million gallons of water compared to oil-fueled power plants. “Wind power is a cost-effective and environmentally sound way to generate power,” says Cielo president Walter Hornaday. “We are committed to working with the landowners and ranchers who own the property near White Deer to ensure they can continue their ranching operations while also significantly contributing to the development of renewable energy in the area.” This facility will increase Cielo’s total capacity of wind power to 597 MW under development in Texas and neighbouring states. Power from the combined projects will serve 212,000 homes, or a city that is 50 percent larger than Amarillo. Cielo Wind Power has installed several wind ranches, including 107 turbines at the Southwest Mesa Wind Farm near McCamey, which currently is the largest wind ranch in Texas. Based in Austin, Cielo is the largest wind developer in the state and has the state’s largest development staff dedicated solely to wind project development. It is a private company. Southwestern Public Service is a regional electric utility serving one million people in the South Plains and Panhandle of Texas, eastern New Mexico, the Oklahoma Panhandle and southwestern Kansas. It is an operating arm of Xcel Energy of Minneapolis.