The 300MW Rock Creek wind farm is Enel’s first wind project in Missouri. Image courtesy of Enel Green Power.
Rock Creek wind farm uses 150 Vestas 2MW turbines. Image courtesy of Renewable Energy Systems.

Rock Creek wind farm is a 300MW onshore wind farm located near Tarkio in Atchison County, Missouri, US.

The wind farm is owned and operated by Rock Creek Wind Project LLC, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Enel Green Power North America (EGPNA), which is Enel’s US-based renewable subsidiary.

Rock Creek Wind Project LLC was formerly a subsidiary of Tradewind Energy, a company based in Lenexa. Enel started construction of the $500m wind farm in October 2016, following the acquisition of the Tradewind subsidiary, and commissioned it in November 2017.

Rock Creek is Enel’s first wind energy project to commence operations in the state of Missouri. At 300MW capacity, it was also the biggest wind power project in Missouri at the time of commissioning.

The onshore wind farm has a power generation capacity of 1,250GWh a year, which is enough to power 100,000 Missouri households, while offsetting 900,000t of CO2 emissions a year, over its 20-year operational life.

Rock Creek wind farm make-up

Rock Creek wind farm consists of 150 Vestas V110-2.0MW turbines spread over 40,000 acres in Atchison County, approximately 96km north of St. Joseph in North-western Missouri, a region endowed with some of the best wind resources in the state.

Mounted on tubular steel tower, each turbine has a rotor diameter of 110m and blade length of 54m. The 2MW Vestas V110 wind turbines are designed for operations at 50Hz and 60Hz frequencies.

Power purchase agreement for Rock Creek wind farm

The electricity and renewable energy credits (REC) generated by Rock Creek wind farm are sold to Kansas City Power & Light (KCP&L) and KCP&L Greater Missouri Operations Company (GMO), under two separate long-term power purchase agreements (PPAs).

Electricity transmission

The wind farm is connected to the newly built Sibley-Nebraska City 345kV Midwest transmission line via a 24km 345-kV overhead transmission line connecting Transource Energy’s interconnection switch station at Holt County.

The 290km Midwest transmission line connecting Missouri and Nebraska is jointly owned by Kansas City Power & Light (KCP&L) and the Omaha Public Power District (OPPD).

Financing for the wind power project

The Rock Creek wind power project was financed through a $365m tax equity agreement signed with Bank of America Merrill Lynch and J.P Morgan in March 2017.

Socio-economic benefits

Rock Creek wind project, for its significant economic benefits in the region, received the Atchison County Development Corporation’s 2017 Economic Development Award.

The wind farm is built on land leased from more than 250 landowners. It is estimated to generate more than $90m in the form of property tax and land lease payments over its 20 years of operational life.

The tax revenues generated by the wind project will be utilised to enhance community services including schooling, library and emergency services as well as improving local infrastructure facilities through funding for road and bridge projects in the county.

The project generated 300 construction jobs and 15 permanent jobs.

Contractors involved with Rock Creek wind farm

Danish turbine maker Vestas was awarded the turbine supply contract for the wind project. The contractual scope included delivery, commissioning as well as multi-year service agreement for the turbines.

Renewable Energy Systems (RES) was the construction contractor for the project.

Burns & McDonnell, an engineering consulting company based in Missouri, provided environmental monitoring services for the project to ensure regulatory compliance and permit conditions during construction.