Duke, CPS Energy reach Texas wind power supply deal

Duke Energy Renewables will build, own and operate the 200-megawatt (MW) Los Vientos I Wind power Project in Willacy County. Duke Energy (NYSE: DUK) announced plans to build a large-scale wind farm in Willacy County, Texas, and sell the electricity it generates to San Antonio-based CPS Energy, the nation’s largest municipally owned energy utility.

Duke Energy Renewables, a commercial business unit of Duke Energy, will build, own and operate the 200-megawatt (MW) Los Vientos I Wind power Project in Willacy County, approximately 120 miles south of Corpus Christi and 20 miles inland from the Gulf of Mexico.

Duke Energy will sell all of the output from the wind farm and associated renewable energy credits to CPS Energy under the terms of a 25-year agreement. CPS Energy already buys all of the electricity generated at Duke Energy Renewables’ 14-MW (16-MW direct current) Blue Wing Solar Power Project in San Antonio. The Blue Wing solar farm, which consists of approximately 215,000 photovoltaic panels, achieved commercial operation in November 2010.

‘We’re honored that CPS Energy once again chose Duke Energy to help it deliver affordable, zero-emission renewable power to its customers throughout the San Antonio area,’ said Duke Energy Renewables President Greg Wolf.

Duke Energy Renewables plans to start construction of the Los Vientos I Windpower

Project in the fourth quarter of 2011 and achieve commercial operation in December 2012. The wind farm, to be sited on 30,000 acres of leased land, will be capable of generating enough electricity to power approximately 60,000 homes. This will be Duke Energy’s fourth wind farm in Texas.

‘Willacy County leaders deserve to be commended for their efforts to bring renewable energy and economic growth to the region,’ said Duke Energy Renewables Vice President Milton Howard. ‘Duke Energy’s wind farm is about to provide a major boost to the community by creating jobs, stimulating activity for local businesses and providing a new source of dependable tax revenue.’

Duke Energy Renewables is developing a second phase of the Los Vientos wind farm in the region, but it has not announced a power purchase agreement for that phase.

Duke Energy Renewables owns nearly 1,000 MW of generating capacity at nine U.S. wind farms – four in Wyoming, three in Texas, one in Colorado and one in Pennsylvania. Since 2007, the company has invested approximately $1.75 billion to build its fleet of wind farms. Duke Energy recently announced the upcoming acquisition of the 20-MW Shirley Windpower Project (May 26) in Glenmore, Wis., and plans to build the 168-MW Ironwood Windpower Project (May 24) in Ford County, Kan., and the 131-MW Cimarron II Windpower Project (July 6) in Gray County, Kan.

Duke Energy Renewables, part of Duke Energy’s Commercial Businesses, is a leader in developing innovative wind and solar energy solutions for customers throughout the United States. The company’s growing portfolio of commercial renewable assets includes nine wind farms and four solar farms in operation in five states, totaling approximately 1,000 megawatts in electric-generating capacity.

CPS Energy is the nation’s largest municipally owned natural gas and electric utility, providing service to approximately 717,000 electric customers and 325,000 natural gas customers in and around the City of San Antonio. The utility ranks among the nation’s lowest-cost energy providers while ranking number 1 in wind-energy capacity among municipally owned utilities.