Enel Green Power North America has begun operating a 50-MW expansion of the High Lonesome wind farm in Upton and Crockett Counties, in Texas, increasing the largest operational wind project in the Group’s global renewable portfolio to 500 MW. The company also connected its 105-MW Riverview and 29.4-MW Castle Rock Ridge II wind farms in Alberta, Canada to the grid.
“The commissioning of these three new wind farms is further evidence that Enel remains committed to growing its renewable portfolio worldwide,” said Antonio Cammisecra, CEO of Enel Green Power. “This commitment has also been underscored by the completion of over 400 MW of renewable plants worldwide in the first quarter of the year, allowing renewables to greatly exceed conventional generation in our portfolio both in terms of capacity and production. While prioritizing health and safety, looking ahead we will continue generating new sustainable value through our emission-free energy across the globe, in accordance with the group’s ‘Strategic Plan.'”
The investment in the construction of the 500-MW High Lonesome wind farm in Texas amounts to around $720 million U.S. The total investment for Castle Rock Ridge II and Riverview amounts to over $210 million Canadian.
The 500-MW High Lonesome facility is due to generate around 1.9-TWh annually. The project was expanded by the 50 MW that were just connected to the grid thanks to a 12-year, renewable energy power purchase agreement (PPA) announced in December 2019 with food and beverage company Danone North America, a Public Benefit Corporation and the world’s largest certified B Corporation, for physical delivery of the renewable electricity associated with a 20.6-MW portion of the 50-MW High Lonesome expansion.
The agreement between Enel and Danone North America will provide enough electricity to produce the equivalent of almost 800 million cups of yogurt and over 80 million gallons of milk each year and support the food and beverage company’s commitment to securing 100% of its purchased electricity from renewable sources by 2030.
In Texas, Enel currently operates the 63-MW Snyder wind farm in Scurry County and the first 252-MW phase of the Roadrunner solar plant in Upton County. The second 245-MW phase of the Roadrunner solar plant is currently under construction and, once completed, Roadrunner will be one of the largest solar plants in the state.
The Castle Rock Ridge II and Riverview wind farms will supply their net power output and renewable energy credits to the Alberta Electric System Operator (AESO) under two 20-year Renewable Energy Support Agreements (“RESAs”), awarded in 2017 through a tender launched by AESO. Located in the town of Pincher Creek, the wind farms are expected to generate around 493 GWh annually. In the country, Enel Green Power also operates the 76.2-MW Castle Rock Ridge I wind farm in Pincher Creek, which began operations in 2012, for an overall portfolio of more than 210 MW in Canada.
The construction process for High Lonesome, Riverview and Castle Rock Ridge II followed Enel Green Power’s Sustainable Construction Site model, a collection of best practices aimed at minimizing the impact of plant construction on the environment. This includes recycling paper, cardboard, aluminum, ink cartridges, oil and grease, along with the use of solar-powered lights and reusable water containers for workers.
In the final stages of construction, Enel closely monitored the emergent COVID-19 pandemic and responded to protect the health of its workers and the community. While abiding by the guidance of public officials, the company implemented strict travel guidelines and enhanced sanitation, as crews implemented safe working habits and physical distancing instructions. Furthermore, Enel North America announced over $1.3 million U.S. in contributions to relief efforts across the U.S. and Canada.
News item from Enel Green Power North America