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West Texas wind farm to be expanded

The Trent Mesa Project, a wind-power generation facility under construction near Abilene, Texas, is being expanded to 150 000 kW of production from 130 000 kW under an agreement between TXU Corp, the buyer of Trent Mesa’s electricity output, and American Electric Power (AEP), the builder, owner and operator of the facility.

Previous plans at the project included this addition to increase the electric generation by 15 per cent. The planned expansion adds 13 wind turbines to the 87 turbines currently being installed at Trent Mesa, located just south of Interstate 20, about 24 miles west of Abilene.

The additional 20 000 kW of production capacity is enough to provide renewable energy to supply the annual equivalent electric needs of 5000 homes of TXU customers in Texas.

The expansion will increase AEP’s investment in the Trent Mesa Project to approximately $160 million.

“TXU is the largest purchaser of renewable energy in Texas and the Southwest and a national leader in supporting wind power,” said Charles Jenkins, vice president of TXU Energy. “TXU has contracted to provide 382 MW, more than twice the amount of renewable energy required under the Texas Electric Choice Act. Our expanded agreement with AEP shows the dedication of both companies to achieving the benefits of renewable energy and cleaner air in Texas.”

“AEP is the nation’s largest generator of electricity and a leader in wholesale markets,” said Dwayne L. Hart, vice president of business development and strategy for AEP Energy Services, the non-regulated energy development subsidiary of AEP. “The Trent Mesa Project is an example of AEP’s ability to design, build and operate generation using a variety of technologies to meet the needs of wholesale customers, in this case TXU’s interest in renewable energy.”

AEP expects to begin delivering energy from its Trent Mesa facility to TXU this fall. AEP estimates that its facility will be able to generate more than 590 million kWh of electricity, providing enough power to supply the equivalent annual energy needs of about 35 000 homes of TXU customers.

Including this new wind generation at Trent Mesa, TXU has now contracted to purchase more than 1.4 billion kWh annually of renewable energy from four wind farms in West Texas. TXU says it will have enough renewable energy capacity from these and other agreements to serve the equivalent annual energy needs of approximately 80 000 homes.