CHARLOTTE, N.C., Jan. 14, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- Duke Energy Renewables, part of Duke Energy's Commercial Businesses, announced today the completion of its largest-ever windpower construction projects, Los Vientos I and II in south Texas, adding 402 megawatts (MW) to the company's renewables fleet.
"2012 was a very significant year for us," said Duke Energy Renewables President Greg Wolf. "With five new windpower projects and three new solar power projects commissioned into service, we added 800 megawatts of clean, emissions-free energy to our fleet last year alone. Now that Los Vientos I and II are on line, our total renewable power capacity grows to more than 1,700 MW, enough to power about half-million homes."
All of the output and associated renewable energy credits from the 200 MW Los Vientos I Windpower Project in Willacy County are being sold to San Antonio-based CPS Energy under a 25-year agreement.
Austin Energy is buying all of the output and associated renewable energy credits from the 202 MW Los Vientos II Windpower Project, sited in Willacy and Cameron Counties.
"We're proud to be partnering with CPS Energy and Austin Energy to bring renewable energy to this region," said Duke Energy Renewables Vice President Milton Howard.
"And, we couldn't have done it without the foresight of the leaders, landowners and people of Willacy County. Thanks to them, we were able to bring 600 jobs to the area during construction, and going forward, the Los Vientos projects will continue to boost economic development, support the local school districts, and be a source of dependable tax revenue for years to come."
Both phases of Los Vientos were completed and placed into service on time -- based on customer agreements -- in late December. Because of their geographical location, approximately 120 miles south of Corpus Christi and 20 miles inland from the Gulf of Mexico, these projects will generate the majority of their power during the day, when peak power demand is highest.
Duke Energy Renewables will hold a ribbon cutting ceremony and community open house at the Los Vientos operations and maintenance building on Jan. 26.
In addition to the two Los Vientos wind farms, Duke Energy Renewables completed three other windpower projects in 2012, including:
- 168-MW Ironwood Windpower Project in Ford County, Kan.
- 131-MW Cimarron II Windpower Project in Gray County, Kan.
- 69-MW Laurel Hill Windpower Project in Lycoming County, Pa.
Duke Energy also has three other windpower projects in Texas: Sweetwater in Nolan County; Ocotillo in Howard County; and Notrees in Ector and Winkler Counties. Since 2007, Duke Energy has invested more than $2.5 billion to grow its commercial wind and solar business.
About Duke Energy Renewables
Duke Energy Renewables, part of Duke Energy's Commercial Businesses, is a leader in developing innovative wind and solar energy generation projects for customers throughout the United States. The company's growing portfolio of commercial renewable assets includes 15 wind farms and 14 solar farms in operation in nine states, totaling more than 1,700 megawatts in electric-generating capacity. Learn more at www.duke-energy.com/renewables.
Headquartered in Charlotte, N.C., Duke Energy is a Fortune 250 company traded on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol DUK. More information about the company is available on the Internet at: www.duke-energy.com.
About Austin Energy
Austin Energy is the nation's 8th largest community-owned electric utility with more than 420,000 customers and operating revenues of $1.2 billion. Austin Energy has a diverse generation portfolio of nearly 3,000 megawatts consisting of natural gas, nuclear, coal and renewable energy. Austin Energy created in 1991 the nation's first green building program and also achieved the country's first conservation power plant by offsetting 700 megawatts of peak demand through energy-efficiency programs from 1982 through 2006. Austin Energy also led the nation for nine years in a row for sales of renewable energy by a utility-sponsored program.
About CPS Energy
CPS Energy is the nation's largest municipally owned natural gas and electric utility, providing service to approximately 728,000 electric and 328,000 natural gas customers in the Greater San Antonio area. The utility offers the lowest rates among the top 10 largest U.S. cities, while ranking number 1 in wind-energy capacity among municipally owned utilities and number 1 in Texas for solar generation. For more information, visit www.cpsenergy.com.
SOURCE Duke Energy