LCRA nearly triples wind power capacity
The Lower Colorado River Authority (LCRA) has nearly tripled its capacity for clean, renewable wind power with the recent completion of the Papalote Creek Wind Farm expansion near Corpus Christi.
LCRA in December 2009 signed an 18-year agreement with E.ON Climate & Renewables (EC&R) North America to buy the power generated by Papalote Creek II, which will provide about 200 megawatts (MW) of clean power using 87 Siemens 2.3-MW wind turbines. EC&R recently completed the expansion project, more than doubling the capacity of its wind farm in San Patricio County. LCRA estimates the additional power will serve more than 45,000 households.
LCRA will use the energy it receives to serve its 43 wholesale electric customers, most of which are municipally owned utilities and electric cooperatives in the Central Texas region. LCRA also has longterm contracts for 116 MW of wind power from three West Texas wind farms, including the state’s first commercial scale wind power facility. The Papalote Creek II project is different because the wind in the Gulf Coast region tends to blow more often when demand for power is highest in Central and South Texas.
“LCRA is pleased to be part of this project, which we believe will provide long-term value to our customers and the consumers they serve,” said Dan Kuehn, Executive Manager of LCRA Wholesale Power Services.
The addition of this wind power will bring LCRA’s wind power capacity to 316 MW, more than 9 percent of its total electric generation capacity. LCRA provides energy to its customers under long-term contracts using diverse fuel sources that also include coal, natural gas and hydroelectric power.
“We are honored to be a part of this project, and we look forward to providing economic support and renewable, homegrown energy for many years to come,” said Steve Trenholm, CEO, EC&R North America.