T&D World Magazine
Duke Energy and Austin Energy Complete Los Vientos III Wind Power Project

Duke Energy and Austin Energy Complete Los Vientos III Wind Power Project

Duke Energy Renewables reaches 2 gigawatts of renewable energy production, enough to power more than a half million average homes Pushes Austin Energy's wind portfolio to more than 1 gigawatt

One hundred spinning turbines near the Rio Grande in Starr County, Texas, mark a major achievement for Duke Energy as well as its customer, Austin Energy.

Austin Energy is purchasing the power and associated renewable energy credits from the 200-megawatt (MW) wind farm under a 25-year agreement, increasing the total output purchased from Duke Energy Renewables to more than 500 MW.

"The completion of Los Vientos III means that Austin Energy's wind portfolio has now surpassed 1,000 MW, which is nearly a third of our total generating capacity," said Larry Weis, general manager of Austin Energy. "We are very excited to reach this major milestone." 

Austin Energy also will purchase the output of the 200-MW Los Vientos IV wind farm under construction in Starr County, with an expected completion date in 2016.

"The leaders, landowners and people of Starr County have been tremendous partners as we've worked together to boost economic development in this community," said Graham Furlong, Duke Energy Renewables development executive. "We appreciate the support of the county, local school districts and the hospital. We're proud to continue our work with them to bring renewable energy to the area and be a source of landowner income and dependable tax revenue for years to come."

Los Vientos III is located approximately 100 miles west of Brownsville near Rio Grande City. In addition to Los Vientos IV, Los Vientos V, in the same proximity, is currently under construction.

Vestas supplied 100 V110-2.0 MW turbines for Los Vientos III and will service the project under a three-year operations and maintenance agreement. The company will also provide turbines for Los Vientos IV and V.

"We're very proud of our partnership with Duke and of the role we've played in helping Duke and Austin Energy meet these milestones," said Chris Brown, president of Vestas' sales and service division in the United States and Canada. "The Duke team is emerging as a renewable energy powerhouse.  We are pleased to work with them and appreciate their confidence in us."

Amshore US Wind provided development support for the project.

The project was constructed by Wanzek Construction.

Duke Energy Renewables' projects under operation in Texas:

  • Sweetwater Windpower Project, Nolan County, 283 MW (of 585 MW total)
  • Ocotillo Windpower Project, Howard County, 59 MW
  • Notrees Windpower Project, Ector & Winkler Counties, 153 MW
  • Blue Wing Solar Power Project, San Antonio,14 MW
  • Notrees Battery Storage Project, Winkler County, 36 MW
  • Los Vientos I Windpower Project, Willacy County, 200 MW
  • Los Vientos II Windpower Project, Willacy County, 202 MW
  • Los Vientos III Windpower Project, Starr County, 200 MW
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