Texas Wind Farm Triples Power Output

Cielo Wind Power, has added two 660-kW wind turbines to the Texico Wind Ranch in eastern Curry County, New Mexico, tripling the output of the first commercial-scale wind generation facility in New Mexico, which Cielo developed and brought on line in June 1999.

Amarillo, Texas – January 8, 2004 [SolarAccess.com] Xcel Energy buys all of the power from the Wind Ranch for resale to its New Mexico Windsource customers. Windsource customers choose to pay a small premium for electric service to help “sponsor” generation of electricity from wind, a renewable and clean resource. The two new turbines will generate 1.32 MW of electricity, enough for the average annual electricity needs of about 450 homes. The turbines will sit on 213-foot tall towers, which are comparable to 21-story buildings. Each generator will be driven by three blades, which are each about 75 feet long. “These two turbines are the same efficient design as the original V47 turbine we installed at Texico in 1999,” Hornaday said. “The Vestas V47 turbine was chosen because it is one of the most reliable wind turbines ever built for the US market and is the most common turbine now running in the US to have a single turbine model that was in production for four years running is not very common in the wind industry and demonstrates the exceptional quality of the turbine.” The Texico Wind Ranch turbines are located in a fallow corner of circle-irrigated farmland, so the wind ranch takes no land out of farming production. The power lines delivering wind energy to Xcel Energy are buried underground; tractors can continue to till the land just as they did before the turbines were installed. To help minimize their impact on wildlife, the turbines use a sophisticated type of FAA lights and are painted with UV-reflective paint. The sale of “green tags”, or Renewable Energy Certificates (RECs) is helps create a market for the clean power generated from wind farms and other renewable energy projects. Xcel Energy has a specific program of their own to provide a maket for their wind power electrical production. “The Texico expansion, Xcel’s third major wind power development in eastern New Mexico and the Texas Panhandle in the past five years, is being built to help meet the demand for this elective program,” Cielo Wind Power President Walter Hornaday said. Xcel Energy currently buys wind power from another Cielo wind power development, the 80 MW White Deer Wind Park in Carson County, Texas. The companies also have announced plans for another 80 MW facility, the Caprock Wind Ranch, with construction scheduled for next year at a location southeast of Tucumcari, New Mexico, in Quay County. Cielo Wind Power, develops, maintains and assists with the construction of utility-grade wind power projects. With field offices in Fluvanna, McCamey, and White Deer, Austin-based Cielo Wind Power is the largest wind developer in the southwest and has the largest development staff dedicated solely to cost-effective and environmentally responsible wind project development.
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