Palmas Altas Wind Farm, a 145-megawatt wind park owned and developed by ACCIONA Energia, has begun commercial operation. The facility is the company’s second one in Texas and ninth in the U.S., and represents a $200 million investment.
ACCIONA Energia started work on the wind farm—which is located in Cameron County, near the San Roman project, the company’s first wind development in the state—in the first half of 2018. It consists of 46 Nordex wind turbines, which feature a rotor diameter of 410 feet mounted on a 287-foot steel tower. During the 25-year lifespan of the wind farm, the staff handling operations at Palmas Altas will comprise 10 employees, but during peak construction, about 170 people worked on the project.
The development is anticipated to produce 524 gigawatt-hours of clean electricity on an annual basis, which will be sold in the ERCOT-South Texas wholesale market. This capacity is enough to power 43,000 U.S. households and will offset the emission of 503,000 metric tons of carbon dioxide, equating to taking more than 100,000 cars and trucks off the road.
The Spanish company has taken steps to expand its generating capacity in the U.S. As such, in addition to its existing solar projects that also include a concentrated solar power farm in Nevada, ACCIONA acquired from Tenaska last October some 3,000 megawatts of rated power in utility-scale photovoltaic plants and 1,000 megawatts of battery storage.
Specifically, the traded photovoltaic portfolio consisted of 20 solar projects in the PJM Interconnection and Southwest Power Pool markets. Of these, eight are slated to begin operations by 2023, adding around 1,500 megawatts of peak capacity (1,200 MW rated capacity).