The El Campo wind farm is a 243MW onshore wind farm located in Knox County, Texas, US. Longroad Energy fully owns the onshore wind farm and will also operate the project.
The total investment in the project is expected to be £266m ($335m).
Construction of the project commenced in July 2019, while commercial operations are planned to be started in July 2020. The project is expected to create more than 200 construction jobs.
El Campo wind farm location and make-up
The El Campo wind farm site will feature 67 wind turbines supplied by Vestas American Wind Technology. The capacity of each turbine will range between 2MW and 4.2MW.
El Campo wind farm transmission details
The El Campo wind farm is located on the Edith Clarke to Clear Crossing 345 kilo volt (kV) transmission line, owned by Electric Transmission Texas (ETT).
ETT amended its Certificate of Convenience and Necessity (CCN) to include the new transmission line construction, in January 2019. The application was approved by PUCT in March 2019.
The project will include the construction of a 6.11km (3.8 mile)-long overhead line from 345kV Coulomb switch station to the Vera Wind substation. A new gen-tie transmission line will also be constructed for connecting the wind farm.
The single-circuit transmission line construction will include steel monopiles made of 954.0 aluminum-conductor steel-reinforced cardinal conductors alongside optical ground wire.
The proposed transmission line is expected to have a right-of-way width of 150ft.
Construction of the transmission line is estimated to cost $10.7m (£8.4m), in addition to $14m (£11m) for the construction of Coulomb switch station and line termination at the proposed Vera Wind substation.
Power purchase agreements
Longroad Energy signed two separate corporate power purchase agreements (PPAs) with DaVita and Crown Holdings for the offtake of power from El Campo.
DaVita agreed to purchase 83MW of power from the wind farm project, while 111MW will be supplied to Crown Holdings.
The project is being financed through equity and debt. Danish pension funds PKA and PenSam are making long-term investment in the project.
Berthshire Hathway Energy Renewables (BHE Renewables), a company based in the US, provided tax equity for the project.
A consortium of banks led by KeyBank, HSBC Bank, Zions Bancorporation, and CIBC provided the debt funding.
Mortenson was awarded the engineering, procurement, and construction (EPC) contract for the El Campo wind farm, in July 2019.
Longroad Energy awarded the contract to conduct asset management and construction management services for the project to its subsidiary Longroad Energy Services, in July 2019. The contractual scope includes remote monitoring, operations, as well as maintenance services for 20 years.
ETT engaged Burns & McDonnell Engineering for preparing the environmental assessment and routing analysis for the proposed 345kV transmission line in Knox County.
Wind power market in Texas and the US
The US has more than 500 manufacturing facilities that manufacture products for the wind industry that together create approximately 25,000 direct jobs.
Texas is the leading producer of electricity in the US by using wind sources. The state generates more than 24 gigawatt (GW) of wind energy, with more than £31.4 billion (bn) ($46bn) in wind sector investments. In addition, the state provides 25,000 wind-related jobs.
Wind projects with a combined capacity of 6,528MW are under construction in Texas, while more than 2GW is under development.
The state saved approximately 26 billion gallons of water in 2018 by switching to wind power, while offsetting 54 million metric tons of CO2 emissions.