Spanish Developer Gains US Wind Foothold

There may not be much new project action these days in the US wind power sector but it hasn’t kept companies from investing in the growing industry. Most recently, the Spain-based EHN has taken an investment-interest in the Blue Canyon Wind Power Project, located in Oklahoma. The wind farm, already in operation, consists of 45 Neg Micon 1.65 MW turbines, with a total capacity of 74.25 MW.

Lawton, Oklahoma – May 28, 2004 [] EHN now holds a 25% interest in the active capital, together with Zilkha Renewable Energy (25%) and the investment bank Babcock&Brown (50%). This represents EHN’s first official stake in an active U.S. wind farm. The facility is located in southwest Oklahoma, 15 miles northwest of Lawton. It was built in 2003 and commissioned on 23 December of that year. Western Farmers Electric Cooperative (WFEC), an Oklahoma generation and transmission rural electric cooperative, headquartered in Anardako, is purchasing all of the electricity produced by Blue Canyon. Through the twenty-year power purchase agreement, it will supply electricity produced by the wind farm to the nineteen rural distribution cooperatives in the State. The electricity produced in the wind farm is enough to power approximately 22,000 homes. EHN already has several initiatives in the US, which will consolidate its presence in the country’s wind energy sector. “We are satisfied with this first project, and it means a good starting point for our expansion in the US”, said Alberto De Miguel, Business Development Director of EHN Group. “We have the financial capacity to support the project development and wide-ranging experience in the development, construction, management, operation and maintenance of wind farms. These are strengths that we believe are of interest for our activity in the USA.” The USA is currently the second country in the world in terms of total wind energy capacity, after Germany and ahead of Spain. In 2004 investment in new wind farms has temporarily come to a halt because of the expiration of the PTC (production tax credit) at the end of 2003, although it is expected that the PTC system will be renewed during 2004. EHN has 2,049 MW installed or under construction, of which almost 1,000 MW belong to the Group. It has built 58 wind farms, either for itself or for other companies (almost all of them managed by the company) and has a further 6 under construction, representing total capacity of 1,963 MW. It has 20 small hydro power plants, a 25 MW biomass plant based on straw combustion and the largest photovoltaic solar energy plant in Spain in terms of capacity (1.2 MW). It is also building a biodiesel plant and has its own wind turbine production facility.