Babcock & Brown Start Construction of Wind Farm in Texas Panhandle

Babcock & Brown announced the closing of financing and the start of construction on its 79.5-megawatt (MW) Majestic Wind Farm near Panhandle, Texas, northeast of Amarillo. Construction of the project is expected to be finished in the next few months and the wind farm is expected reach full commercial operation before the end of 2008.

The Majestic Wind Farm will interconnect into the existing Soutwest Power Pool transmission grid to supply power to the Panhandle region, as will a second phase at Majestic, planned for construction next year. Development of the 1,000-MW Panhandle Wind project is ongoing, and construction will be timed to coincide with completion of the ERCOT’s Competitive Renewable Energy Zone (CREZ) transmission lines.

“Babcock & Brown has a long-term commitment to development of the Texas Panhandle’s world-class wind resources and we are excited to commence construction of the Majestic Wind Project, which has been under development since 2003,” said Hunter Armistead, head of Babcock & Brown’s North American renewable energy group. “The Majestic Project will be followed by Majestic II next year, and then by our 1,000 MW Panhandle Wind Project once the ERCOT CREZ transmission facilities are in place.”

Babcock & Brown was a leading supporter of designation of the Central Panhandle Region as a CREZ by the Texas Public Utility Commission, and plans to construct at least 1,000 MW of wind generation to connect to the new CREZ lines into the ERCOT region of Texas.

The company currently has a total of five wind energy projects under construction in Texas and other states, including Majestic and the following four projects:

  • Gulf Winds Project in Kenedy County, Texas (283 MW)
  • South Trent Project in Nolan and Taylor counties, Texas (101 MW)
  • Wessington Springs Project in South Dakota (50 MW)
  • Butler Ridge Project in Wisconsin (54 MW)

Combined, these five wind projects have a 567.5 MW nameplate capacity and represent an investment of more than US $1 billion.

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