The combined Panther Creek project cluster covers more than 65,000 acres in area and produces approximately 460MW of wind energy
German electric utility company E.ON has secured more than $200m (£160m) from GE Energy Financial Services (GE EFS) in tax equity financing for repowering its Panther Creek I and Panther Creek II Wind Farms in Texas, US.
GE EFS underwrote and committed a portion of the tax equity, to significantly increase the lifespan of the sites accounting for 258MW of combined capacity.
E.ON North America chief operating officer Silvia Ortin said: “Repowering sites like Panther Creek I and II allows us to increase the amount of clean, renewable power that the facilities can produce while simultaneously providing additional investment in local communities through increased tax revenues.
“This financing will help us significantly prolong the operating life of these projects and increase their capacity factor, allowing us to extract additional value from existing infrastructure and continue growing the American clean energy future.”
Panther Creek I and Panther Creek II Wind Farms repowering project Details
The Panther Creek I & II projects are part of E.ON’s Panther Creek cluster in Howard, Glasscock, and Sterling counties in Texas, and were originally completed in 2008.
The combined Panther Creek project cluster covers more than 65,000 acres in area and produces approximately 460MW of wind energy.
E.ON said that it will bring more than 1,000MW of clean energy to the grid by the end of 2020, and the repowering project is part of the company’s plan.
The repowering project is expected to increase the capacity factor of the project through the replacement and installation of new drive trains and the upgrade of 172 GE 1.5MW wind turbines with longer rotors.
The project, which is planned to start commercial operations in December 2019, created 239 construction jobs during the peak of on-site work and needed more than 325,000 man-hours to complete.
GE EFS global renewable energy leader Gaurav Raniwala said: “Leveraging GE’s repowering technology and investment capabilities, we are proud to help E.ON bring its first U.S. repowering project to fruition and build on our track record of investing tax equity in GE wind repower projects.
“Located in a strong wind resource regime, the repowering project enables E.ON’s Panther Creek wind farms to achieve maximum performance with greater reliability, annual energy production uplifts, and extended wind farm life.”
GE EFS, which offers tax equity financing for new build and repowered wind farms in the US, is expected to support GE’s repowering efforts of 3GW’s of units by the end of 2020.