450-MW Texas wind farm goes online, to expand to 500 MW in 2020

The High Lonesome wind farm, operated by Enel Green Power North America Ltd., plans to add an additional 50 MW of capacity in early 2020.


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A 450-megawatt wind farm recently began operations in the U.S. state of Texas, as reported on Dec. 23 by Enel (Rome, Italy and Boston, Mass., U.S.) and its U.S. renewable subsidiary Enel Green Power North America Inc. (EGPNA). The company says that the High Lonesome wind farm is the largest operational wind project in the group’s global renewable portfolio.

Enel also signed a 12-year, renewable energy power purchase agreement (PPA) with food and beverage company Danone North America, a Public Benefit Corp. (White Plains, N.Y., U.S.) for physical delivery of the renewable electricity associated with 20.6 megawatts, leading to an additional 50 megawatts expansion of High Lonesome that will increase the plant’s total capacity to 500 megawatts. The construction of the 50-megawatt expansion is currently underway and operations are due to start in the first quarter of 2020.

The investment in the construction of the 500-megawatt plant amounts to around $720 million. The wind farm is due to generate around 1.9 Terawatt-hours annually, while avoiding the emission of more than 1.2 million tons of CO2 per year.

In addition, the energy produced by a 295-megawatt portion of the project will be hedged under a Proxy Revenue Swap (PRS) with insurer Allianz Global Corporate & Specialty Inc.'s Alternative Risk Transfer unit (Allianz), and Nephila Climate, a provider of weather and climate risk management products. The PRS is a financial derivative agreement designed to produce stable revenues for the project regardless of power price fluctuations and weather-driven intermittency, hedging the project from this kind of risk in addition to that associated with price and volume.

Under the PRS agreement, High Lonesome will receive fixed payments based on the expected value of future energy production, with adjustments paid depending on how the realized proxy revenue of the project differs from the fixed payment. The PRS for High Lonesome, which is the largest by capacity for a single plant globally and the first agreement of its kind for Enel, was executed in collaboration with REsurety Inc.

“The start of operations of Enel’s largest wind farm in the world marks a significant achievement for our company and reinforces our global commitment to accelerated renewable energy growth,” says Antonio Cammisecra, CEO of Enel Green Power. “This milestone is matched with a new partnership with Danone North America to support their renewable goals, a reinforcement of our continued commitment to provide customers with tailored solutions to meet their sustainability goals.”

“This is an exciting and significant step as we continue to advance our 2030 renewable electricity goals. … We’re delighted to be working with Enel Green Power to expand their High Lonesome wind farm and grow the renewable electricity infrastructure here in the U.S.,” says Mariano Lozano, president and CEO of Danone North America.

In Texas, Enel also currently operates the 63-megawatt Snyder wind farm, located in Scurry County.

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