BNSFL, Tri Global team up on West Texas wind energy

BNSF Logistics (BNSFL) and Tri Global Energy (TGE) jointly announced completion of a formal agreement to align resources, market knowledge and industry relationships to support BNSFL’s development of their West Texas Wind Energy Logistics Center (WTWLC).

The joint marketing agreement between the two leaders in their respective markets is an innovative approach to manage capacity, optimize routing of turbine components and drive greater volumes through a major facility to reduce costs on a per unit basis.

With cost per megawatt getting closer to a level that will make wind energy developers less reliant upon subsidies or tax credits, any additional savings that can be taken out of the supply chain is considered critical by industry insiders and observers.

“Aligning the infrastructure, resources and vision that BNSFL has for capacity and service to the wind energy industry with TGE, a preeminent developer in the dynamic West Texas region, will allow us to fast track development and ultimately deliver the improved economies that the industry covets,” said BNSF Logistics’ Chief Marketing Officer Jim Craig.

Tri Global’s investment and commitment to directing project activity through the WTWLC, has enabled BNSFL to be more aggressive in development plans and timelines. A site has already been selected that is strategically situated in the heart of TGE’s proposed project plans and development is already underway. The initial stage calls for development of 40 acres, though BNSFL holds the option on the entire 200 acre site. When fully developed the site will be receiving, storing and loading out hundreds of turbine components each month, receiving components via both rail as well as truck.

“Having a freight and logistics powerhouse like BNSFL bringing their resources and expertise to boost TGE’s West Texas projects provides a critical element supporting our overall vision,” said TGE’s Chief Executive Officer John Billingsley. “West Texas has emerged as the ‘bulls-eye’ for wind energy projects in North America, due to ideal wind speeds, geography and being at the nexus of the three U.S. power grids. And Tri Global Energy has emerged as a major player in the West Texas wind energy arena.”

In September 2013, TGE announced the largest community-sponsored wind farm project to date in the United States. TGE has 16 planned projects in various stages of development and has more than 640,000 acres under lease for current and future project development.

Discussions regarding the WTWLC are already underway with a number of component manufacturers and OEMs (Original Equipment Manufacturers) and the innovations being developed in both component transloading and in-transit handling have peaked interest with many of the wind players. While the services and capacity of the WTWLC will be available to the entire wind energy sector, developers, OEMs and logistics service providers alike, TGE will enjoy some distinct benefits for their “early adopter” status.

BNSF Logistics’ President Ray Greer added, “BNSF Logistics was very active in wind energy in 2011 and 2012 and we are fully prepared to take our participation to the next level in 2014-15. We are committed to meeting the unique needs of the wind energy industry and our agreement with Tri Global is a strong vote of confidence in our approach.”

BNSF Logistics, LLC is an indirect, wholly owned subsidiary of Burlington Northern Santa Fe, LLC, a Berkshire Hathaway company. A 3rd party logistics services provider specializing in movement of freight around the globe, featuring uncommon service scope, resources and financial depth. The company operates over 40 offices throughout North America, as well as in Europe, South America and Asia.

Tri Global Energy, LLC has 16 projects in its wind energy development portfolio, representing more than 640,000 acres of wind resource sites to generate 6,600 MW of wind power, enough to provide the annual electricity consumed by 1.9 million American homes. Industry experts have identified Tri Global Energy wind power projects as having some of the best wind resources in the U.S. and are near the geographic intersection of three major transmission interconnections that serve customers across the country.