The Tennessee Valley Authority contracts to buy more wind energy

TVA signed a 20-year agreement with Caney River Wind Project LLC to deliver wind power to the TVA region from a wind farm to be built in Elk County, Kan. The wind farm will have 111 wind turbines across some 14,000 acres. Generation is expected to begin in 2012.

“This contract puts TVA another step closer to fulfilling its vision to be one of the nation’s leading providers of low-cost and cleaner energy by sharpening our focus on renewables and energy efficiency, relying more on nuclear power, continuing to improve air quality, and relying less on coal,” TVA Senior Vice President John Trawick said in a prepared statement. “Wind energy is an increasingly valuable part of our generation portfolio.”

With this contract, TVA will have added up to 1,581 megawatts of wind power resources to its generation portfolio since issuing a request for proposals in December 2008 for as much as 2,000 megawatts of renewable energy. The additional wind generation under contract is more than what a single nuclear reactor will generate for TVA, although the wind turbines will operate less frequently.

TVA’s current renewable energy mix totals 4,443 megawatts from hydroelectric, wind, solar and methane sources. In addition, TVA’s nuclear plants contribute 6,900 megawatts of emission-free electricity to the power grid.

Caney River Wind Project LLC is a direct subsidiary of TradeWind Energy, based in Lenexa, Kan. The wind farm will be constructed, owned and operated by TradeWind partner Enel North America, a subsidiary of Enel Green Power, Italy’s largest power company.