The National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA) has begun construction of the 11.5MW Pantex wind farm in Amarillo, Texas and expects to complete it by the summer of 2014.

Siemens Government Technologies and NNSA have signed an energy savings performance contract under which the company designs and constructs the federal agency’s five-turbine project and arranges the necessary funding.

Under the terms of the contract, Siemens guarantees that the improvements will generate energy cost savings of $2.8bn, which is enough to pay for the project over the term of the 18-year contract.

The project, which is being built on 1,500 acres of government-owned property east of the Pantex plant, is likely to produce around 47 million kWh of clean energy annually, which is enough to power around 3,500 homes or over 60% of the annual electricity requirements of the Pantex facility.

NNSA Production Office manager Steve Erhart said that the ground breaking ceremony marks the start of construction on a significant wind energy project undertaken by the federal government.

"We are very proud of our national security mission here at Pantex, and this federal partnership with Siemens will provide yet another dimension of dedicated and responsible service to our nation," added Erhart.