BP, Sempra Energy To Invest $1 Bln In Wind Energy in Pennsylvania and Kansas

The two wind power farms will have a combined total output of 560 megawatts. BP Wind Energy and Sempra U.S. Gas & Power LLC will jointly develop the Mehoopany Wind Farm in Pennsylvania and the Flat Ridge 2 Wind Farm in Kansas. Both wind farms are fully-contracted under long-term agreements, and are expected to be in commercial operation by year-end 2012.

The two companies noted that the wind farms will each be the largest ever built in their respective states. BP will be the operator of both wind farms when they become commercially operational.

The Mehoopany Wind Farm in Wyoming County, Pennsylvania, is expected to generate up to 141 MW of energy. The power output from the wind farm has been sold under contract to Old Dominion Electric Cooperative and Southern Maryland Electric Cooperative Inc.

Construction of the Mehoopany Wind Farm site began in November 2011. The wind farm will utilize 88 GE 1.6 MW wind turbines and will employ some 250 workers during peak construction. The contract for construction of the wind farm has been awarded to Renewable Energy Systems Americas Inc. The Flat Ridge 2 Wind Farm will be located on a 66,000-acre site about 40 miles southwest of Wichita, Kansas. The wind farm will utilize 262 GE wind turbines each with a rated capacity of 1.6 MW, to generate 419 MW of renewable power.

BP and Sempra Energy said that the power output from the Flat Ridge 2 Wind Farm has been sold under contracts to Associated Electric Cooperative, Inc. and Southwestern Electric Power Co., a unit of American Electric Power. A third contract has been secured, but has not yet been announced.

The construction contract for the Flat Ridge 2 Wind Farm has been awarded to Blattner Energy, and is expected to employ about 500 people on-site during the peak of construction.

Jeffrey Martin, president and CEO of Sempra U.S. Gas & Power, said, "This is an exciting time for our company. Over the next 12 months we expect to more than double the size of our operating wind and solar generation portfolios, resulting in significantly improved recurring cash flows from long-term contracted assets."

The joint venture of BP and Sempra Energy also own the 200 MW Fowler Ridge 2 Wind Farm in Benton County, Indiana and the 250 MW Cedar Creek 2 Wind Farm in Weld County, Colorado. BP Wind Energy is a principal owner and operator of wind power facilities with interests in 13 wind farms.