Economy

Quanta to build Wind Catcher Tie Line

Quanta to build Wind Catcher Tie Line”

Last year, Texas wind farms generated more than 57.5 million megawatts per hour, about 25% of all the wind energy generated in the U.S., according to the Department of Energy. And Texas, Oklahoma, Kansas, and Colorado make up four of the top six states in the country when it comes to wind production. There are no fuel costs associated with the wind energy and the dedicated tie line ensures delivery of the energy without incurring congestion costs associated with existing power lines in the region, according to Whiteford.

New wind, solar and other renewables are being built at a fast enough rate in those states that they may easily meet those targets, said Galen Barbose, a Berkeley Lab research scientist and the report's author. Until recently, most electric companies would buy electricity from wind farms owned by a different company without investing much in the farm itself. And in April, the chief executive officer of Xcel Energy Inc. said he'd use it to help add 3.4 gigawatts of new wind energy over the next five years.

The wind farm and transmission line are expected to save utility customers more than $7 billion over 25 years, said the companies' press release.

"We're increasingly hearing from customers large and small that they want additional clean energy resources", McHenry said.

Here's how it works: Some utilities that for years contracted to buy electricity from wind and solar farm owners are now shifting away from these so-called power purchase agreements, or PPAs.

"We will also have to file for approval on the Wind Catcher project on July 31", Whiteford said.

There are 14,004 megawatts of wind projects now under construction around the country.

With the cost of building solar and wind farms sliding and electricity demand weakening, owning renewables is a more attractive proposition than ever for utilities.

"We will have to see which is the largest in the end", Firestone said.

An electric utility that serves about 113,000 customers in western Arkansas says it plans to buy a significant portion of the nation's largest wind farm, now being built in the Oklahoma panhandle and scheduled for completion in 2020.



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