Major investment in Texas wind power continues
Expanding its renewable energy portfolio in Texas, GE unit GE Energy Financial Services has joined JP Morgan to jointly invest $225 million in a partnership that owns the 662.5-megawatt Capricorn Ridge wind farm in West Texas.
According to General Electric Company, a subsidiary of NextEra Energy Resources, LLC remains the majority owner and operator of the project. Additional financial details of the transaction were not disclosed. NextEra Energy Resources is a subsidiary of NextEra Energy, Inc.
The Capricorn Ridge wind farm has been in operation since 2007 and employs 342 of GE Energy’s 1.5-megawatt machines, the world’s most widely deployed wind turbine, and 65 of Siemens’ 2.3-megawatt machines. The project is located in Sterling and Coke counties in one of Texas’ Competitive Renewable Energy Zones – resource rich, high-wind areas in West Texas and the Texas Panhandle that will increasingly supply renewable energy to major population centers in eastern Texas via new transmission projects. The Capricorn Ridge project is capable of generating enough electricity to power more than 220,000 homes while avoiding more than 952,000 metric tons of greenhouse gas emissions per year – equivalent to taking approximately 186,000 cars off the road – according to US Environmental Protection Agency methodology....One of the biggest problems with Texas wind power has been getting the transmission lines in place to get the energy to markets where it is needed. It has been an expense that the investors have looked for others to pick up. West Texas wind farms apparently have more persistence than most such units and they are not knocked out of service as often by ice storms as units further north have been. At best they are still just a supplement to more traditional power sources. We will still need the shale gas plants to keep the power on.