Duke Energy Renewables, a commercial business unit of Duke Energy, on April 11 announced it will build, own and operate a 200-megawatt (MW) wind project – Mesteño – in Starr County, Texas.
The project’s output will be sold into the ERCOT market and Duke Energy Renewables will enter into a long-term hedge agreement covering the majority of the expected wind energy production. The Mesteño Wind Project will be Duke Energy Renewables’ fourth wind generation facility in Starr County.
The Mesteño project has received strong local support from the Rio Grande City Consolidated Independent School district, Starr County, Starr County Hospital and South Texas College.
Construction has started and will be completed by the end of 2019. Once completed, Mesteño will contain turbines that are 590.5 feet tall – some of the tallest wind turbines in the United States. The tall tower turbines are expected to harness stronger winds and increase wind energy production. This project will increase Duke Energy Renewables’ U.S. wind capacity to more than 2,500 MW.
“We’re excited to continue to invest to build and expand renewable energy resources in Texas,” said Rob Caldwell, president of Duke Energy Renewables. “This project will deliver clean energy for the state and significant economic benefits to the area.”
During peak construction, the wind project will create approximately 200 jobs. It will also deliver more than $16 million in tax revenue over the first 10 years of operation.
Vestas supplied 56 3.6-MW tall tower turbines for the site.
“We’re pleased to expand our tall tower technology and V136-3.6 MW platform,” said Chris Brown, president of Vestas’ sales and service division in the United States and Canada. “The combination of taller towers and V136-3.6 MW technology is perfectly designed to extract the abundant resource at the site, and deliver low-cost, reliable energy to the community and customer.”
The 200-MW Mesteño wind facility will produce enough energy to power about 60,000 average homes.
Amshore US Wind provided development support for the project, and Wanzek Construction is the contractor.
Duke Energy is one of the nation’s top renewable energy providers – on track to own or purchase 8,000 megawatts of wind, solar and biomass energy by 2020.
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Final state permits and authorizations are still needed.