HARLINGEN — Gulf breezes continue to blow investment dollars into the Rio Grande Valley.
U.S. contractor Infrastructure and Energy Alternatives announced this week it will spend $115 million to build two new wind farms across Willacy, Cameron and Hidalgo counties.
The first project, Raymond Wind Farm, will place 91 Vestas turbines generating 200 megawatts of power in Willacy and Cameron counties.
The second project will install 109 Vestas turbines generating nearly 240 megawatts at West Raymond Wind Farm, which will be sited in Willacy, Hidalgo and Cameron counties. IEA hopes to have both facilities producing power by December 2020.
RWE Renewables Americas, a division of German-based RWE AG, is lead developer on the projects.
“We’re excited to move forward with two more South Texas wind farms this year, consolidating our position as a leader of Texas coastal wind,” said Silvia Ortin, chief operating officer of Onshore Wind and Solar PV Americas, RWE Renewables. “These wind farms represent an investment of more than $500 million in the local area, furthering RWE’s strategy for renewables growth in the U.S. market.”
JP Roehm, IEA’s chief executive officer, said Texas is expected to continue to be a leading driver of wind energy projects given both the state’s commitment to renewable energy and its vast geography.
According to the American Wind Energy Association’s third-quarter 2019 report, 19 states now have more than 1,000 megawatts under construction or in advanced development. Texas leads all other states and is home to 19 percent of the total development pipeline, followed by Wyoming (11 percent), Oklahoma (7 percent), Iowa, (6 percent) and Virginia (6 percent).
Texas led third-quarter capacity additions with 1,232 megawatts. For the year through Sept. 30, Texas also led the country in installations with 2,129 megawatts.
The announcement by IEA comes just three months after E.on Climate and Renewables North America, a U.S. subsidiary of a German company, announced it will be constructing a massive $500 million, 440-megawatt wind farm covering parts of Willacy, Cameron and Hidalgo counties.
This field will mostly be sited in Willacy County, where E.on has two operating wind farms, Breunning’s Breeze, a 228-megawatt facility, and Magic Valley, which generates 203 megawatts of power.
The new E.on field will be called Big Raymond with somewhere between 180 and 220 turbines. Construction on the field is expected to be completed in late 2020.
What you should know
– Infrastructure and Energy Alternatives (IEA) will spend $115 million to build two new wind farms across Willacy, Cameron and Hidalgo counties.
– First project: 91 Vestas turbines generating 200 megawatts of power in Willacy and Cameron counties.
– Second project: 109 Vestas turbines generating nearly 240 megawatts of power in Willacy, Hidalgo and Cameron counties.
– IEA hopes to have both facilities producing power by December 2020.