United States

United States

Turn of the year sees US commissioning surge

Wind farm commissioning ramped up significantly in the US towards the end of 2020, according to Windpower Intelligence, the research and data division of Windpower Monthly

Xcel Energy's 522MW Sagamore project was the largest wind farm commissioned globally in December, according to Windpower Intelligence
Xcel Energy's 522MW Sagamore project was the largest wind farm commissioned globally in December, according to Windpower Intelligence

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Project commissioning ramped up significantly in the US closing out the year with almost 3.7GW of capacity being brought online.

The lion’s share of this capacity – roughly 3.5GW – was split between just 15 wind farms in 12 states, according to Windpower Intelligence, the research and data division of Windpower Monthly. 

The largest of these projects was Xcel Energy’s 522MW Sagamore Sagamore (522MW) OnshoreRoosevelt County, New Mexico, USA, North America Click to see full details wind farm in New Mexico. On the border with Texas, the 240-turbine project is New Mexico’s largest wind farm to date costing $900 million. Vestas supplied the site with 214 of its V120-2.2 and 26 of its V110-2.0 models.

Sagamore was also the largest wind farm commissioned globally in December. 

In the States, the second largest wind farm to come online over this period was Ameren's recently acquired 400MW High Prairie High Prairie (400MW) OnshoreAdair and Schuyler Counties, Missouri, USA, North America Click to see full details project in Missouri.  

This was followed by Allete Clean Energy’s 303MW Diamond Spring Diamond Spring (303MW) OnshoreMurray, Johnston and Pontotoc Counties, Oklahoma, USA, North America Click to see full details wind farm in southern Oklahoma, and Portland General Electric Company and NextEra Energy Resources’ 300MW Wheatridge Wheatridge (300MW) OnshoreMorrow County, Oregon, USA, North America Click to see full details in Oregon – one of the first large-scale energy facilities in the US to combine wind, solar and battery storage resources at a single location. 

The top 15 wind farms accounted for nearly 3.5GW (about 94%) of the 3.7GW of capacity brought online across the US.

The busiest developer over the Dec-Jan period was MidAmerican Energy, which brought 596.6MW of wind capacity onto the Iowa grid following the commissioning of three wind farms: 252.5MW Diamond Trail Diamond Trail (252.5MW) OnshoreIowa County, Iowa, USA, North America Click to see full details, 90MW Palo Alto II (Wind XII) Palo Alto II (Wind XII) (90MW) OnshorePalo Alto County, Iowa, USA, North America Click to see full details and the 254.1MW Southern Hills wind complex, which comprises the 131.3MW Southern Hills (Wind XII) Southern Hills (Wind XII) (131.3MW) OnshoreAdair, Union and Adams Counties, Iowa, USA, North America Click to see full details and 122.8MW Southern Hills Expansion (Wind XII expansion) Southern Hills Expansion (Wind XII expansion) (122.8MW) OnshoreAdair, Union and Adams Counties, Iowa, USA, North America Click to see full details projects.

In second, the developer NextEra Energy Resources played its part with the commissioning of 550MW of capacity, namely its 250MW Skeleton Creek Skeleton Creek (250MW) OnshoreGarfield and Alfalfa Counties, Oklahoma, USA, North America Click to see full details hybrid project in Oklahoma and the 300MW Wheatridge wind farm that it developed alongside the Portland General Electric Company.

This Christmas period of large project-commissioning came despite the coronavirus pandemic disrupting supply chains and hindering project execution.

Outside of the US, only Belgium’s 487MW SeaMade wind cluster – which comprises the 252MW SeaMade (Seastar) SeaMade (Seastar) (252MW) Offshoreoff Zeebruge, Belgium, Europe Click to see full details and 235MW SeaMade (Mermaid) SeaMade (Mermaid) (235MW) Offshoreoff Zeebrugge, Belgium, Europe Click to see full details projects – came close to rivalling the sort of nameplate capacity commissioned in the US. It is now the largest operational offshore wind farm in Belgium. 

Whilst just outside the Christmas period in November, China General Nuclear Power Corporation's 400MW Yangjiang Nanpeng wind farm off the coast of Yangjiang City also started supplying power to the grid.

Wind farms commissioned in the US in December

Colorado – Leeward Renewable Energy’s 171MW Mountain Breeze Mountain Breeze (171MW) OnshoreWeld County, Colorado, USA, North America Click to see full details wind farm in Weld County.

Iowa – MidAmerican Energy’s 252.5MW Diamond Trail Diamond Trail (252.5MW) OnshoreIowa County, Iowa, USA, North America Click to see full details in Iowa County, its 90MW Palo Alto II (Wind XII) Palo Alto II (Wind XII) (90MW) OnshorePalo Alto County, Iowa, USA, North America Click to see full details in Palo Alto County and its 254.1MW Southern Hills wind farm – 131.3MW Southern Hills (Wind XII) Southern Hills (Wind XII) (131.3MW) OnshoreAdair, Union and Adams Counties, Iowa, USA, North America Click to see full details and 122.8MW Southern Hills Expansion (Wind XII expansion) Southern Hills Expansion (Wind XII expansion) (122.8MW) OnshoreAdair, Union and Adams Counties, Iowa, USA, North America Click to see full details – in the counties of Adair, Union and Adams County.

Kansas – Enel Green Power North America’s 199MW Cimarron Bend III Cimarron Bend III (199MW) OnshoreClark County, Kansas, USA, North America Click to see full details wind farm expansion in Clark County. In total, the Cimarron Bend now has an operating capacity of 599MW.

Maine –  Longroad Energy Partnersand Fengate Capital Management’s 72.6MW Weaver Weaver (72.6MW) OnshoreHancock County, Maine, USA, North America Click to see full details wind project in Hancock County.

Michigan – Consumers Energy’s 150MW 150MW Gratiot Farms Gratiot Farms (150MW) OnshoreGratiot County, Michigan, USA, North America Click to see full details wind project in Gratiot County.

Minnesota – Tenaska's 250MW Nobles 2 Nobles 2 (250MW) OnshoreNobles County, Minnesota, USA, North America Click to see full details wind farm in Nobles County.

Missouri – Enel Green Power North America’s 236.5MW White Cloud White Cloud (236.5MW) OnshoreMissouri, USA, North America Click to see full details wind farm located in Nodaway County.

New Mexico – Xcel Energy’s 522MW Sagamore Sagamore (522MW) OnshoreRoosevelt County, New Mexico, USA, North America Click to see full details wind farm in Roosevelt County.

North Dakota – EDF Renewables North America’s 150MW Merricourt Wind Merricourt Wind (150MW) OnshoreDickey and McIntosh Counties, North Dakota, USA, North America Click to see full details in the counties of McIntosh and Dickey.

Oklahoma – NextEra Energy Resources’ 250MW Skeleton Creek Skeleton Creek (250MW) OnshoreGarfield and Alfalfa Counties, Oklahoma, USA, North America Click to see full details wind-solar-storage hybrid project, which is spread across the three counties of Major, Alfalfa and Garfield and Allete Clean Energy’s 303MW Diamond Spring Diamond Spring (303MW) OnshoreMurray, Johnston and Pontotoc Counties, Oklahoma, USA, North America Click to see full details wind farm stretching the counties of Johnston and Pontotoc.

Oregon – Portland General Electric Company and NextEra Energy Resources’ 300MW Wheatridge Wheatridge (300MW) OnshoreMorrow County, Oregon, USA, North America Click to see full details wind farm in Morrow County.

Texas – BayWa RE.’s 250MW Amadeus Amadeus (250MW) OnshoreFisher and Kent Counties, Texas, USA, North America Click to see full details project in Fisher County.

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