BP considers 400MW of partial-repowering

UNITED STATES: UK-based oil major BP said it secured the option to buy the required wind turbine components by the end of 2016 in time to qualify for the full $0.023/kWh production tax credit (PTC) to partially repower 400MW of its wind projects.

Much of BP's US portfolio comprises Clipper and GE turbines

BP's projects in Texas and Kansas use GE and Clipper turbines, according to Windpower Intelligence, the research and data division of Windpower Monthly but a BP America spokesman would not comment on any OEM involved.

Clipper is no longer in business and its turbines are highly likely to be among those repowered.

Repowered projects are eligible for the ten-year PTC if the cost of the new components is at least 80% of a turbine's total fair market value. BP said it might make a decision on whether to proceed by mid-year.

It would be the company's largest investment in renewable energy since its most recent wind project came online in 2012.

The repowering would involve replacing components such as gearboxes, drivetrains and blades, but keeping the old towers and foundations.

The only project under consideration for repowering mentioned by name is the 60MW Silver Star in Texas, which consists of Clipper 2.5MW turbines and was completed in 2008.

BP's Texas wind projects are being targeted because their power is typically sold on the wholesale market, rather than under a long-term Power Purchase Agreement.

The oil multinational attempted to sell its 14 US wind projects in 2013, but was unable to find a buyer.