$1 Billion Deal: BP, Sempra Combine on Projects in Pennsylvania, Kansas

BP Wind Energy and Sempra U.S. Gas & Power announced plans to further expand their strategic relationship by jointly developing the Mehoopany Wind Farm in Pennsylvania and the Flat Ridge 2 Wind Farm in Kansas, representing a total investment of more than $1 billion.

Both wind farms, which will have a combined capacity of 560 MW, are fully contracted under long-term power purchase agreements, and are expected to be in commercial operation by the end of the year.

The 141-MW Mehoopany project, which went under construction in November, is located in Wyoming County, Pa. The power output from the wind farm has been sold under contract to Old Dominion Electric Cooperative and Southern Maryland Electric Cooperative Inc. The contracts were negotiated by the National Renewables Cooperative Organization. The wind farm will utilize 88 GE 1.6-MW wind turbines and will employ some 250 workers during peak construction. The construction contract has been awarded to Renewable Energy Systems Americas Inc.

The Flat Ridge 2 Wind farm will be located on a 66,000-acre site approximately 40 miles southwest of Wichita, Kansas. The wind farm will utilize 262 1.6-MW GE wind turbines for a total capacity of 419 MW. The output from the Flat Ridge 2 Wind Farm has been sold under contracts to Associated Electric Cooperative Inc. and Southwestern Electric Power Company, a unit of American Electric Power. A third contract has been secured but has yet to be announced.

The construction contract for the Flat Ridge 2 Wind Farm has been awarded to Blattner Energy and is expected to employ approximately 500 people on-site during the peak of construction.

BP will be the operator of both wind farms when they become commercially operational.

Carl Levesque is the communications editor at AWEA. This article first appeared in the AWEA Windletter and was reprinted with permission from the American Wind Energy Association.

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Carl is Editor & Publications Manager at the American Wind Energy Association, where has worked since 2006. At AWEA he oversees AWEA's online and print publications including the Wind Energy Weekly, Windpower Update, and other products. He has worked as a journalist in the energy industry as a staff writer for Public Utilities Fortnightly magazine and in the association sector as senior editor at Association Management magazine. He also has covered the home-building industry, where his areas of greatest interest were sustainable development and "smart growth," and has written articles for numerous other publications as a freelance writer. Carl received his B.A. from James Madison University and spent some time in New Orleans teaching as well as working with homeless youth.

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