Iberdrola Renewables added three new wind farms to its U.S. fleet at the end of 2012, adding to a portfolio of clean energy projects that now spans 19 states. The farms, which all reached commercial operation in December, represent a total investment of about $700 million, and have most of the power subscribed under long-term contracts.
The Manzana Wind Power Project in Kern County, Calif., in the wind-rich Tehachapi area near the town of Rosamond, includes 126 GE 1.5-MW wind turbines. This project will support the local economy with property tax payments estimated to be more than $50 million and lease payments expected to more than $30 million over the life of the project.
During construction, the project created 216 construction jobs at its peak and resulted in $10.3 million spent locally.
The total project provides 189 MW of renewable energy, representing an offset in carbon emissions comparable to removing more than 21,500 cars off of California's roads each year. The majority of the project output is under long-term contract with two repeat customers, San Diego Gas & Electric (SDG&E), which is buying 100 MW/year for 20 years, and the City of Santa Clara's Silicon Valley Power (SVP), which is buying 50/MW year for 20 years.
Rising on Crum Hill in Monroe, Mass., and on Bakke Mountain in Florida, Mass., the Hoosac Wind Power Project is now the Commonwealth's largest wind farm. During construction it employed a peak of 140 workers, with $3.9 million spent locally during building. Over the life of the project, Hoosac will generate about $6.8 million in tax revenue for the towns, and lease payments to local landowners will total another $3 million.
In total, Hoosac's 19 GE 1.5-MW turbines generate 28.5 MW of clean, renewable energy. Altogether, the total project powers over 10,000 homes annually. All of the energy is under contract with NSTAR Electric, a unit of Northeast Utilities.
The Groton Wind Farm is situated along two ridge features in the town of Groton, N.H., in Grafton County. It consists of 24 Gamesa G87, 2.0 MW wind turbines, and is expected to produce, on average, enough electricity to power nearly 20,000 average New Hampshire homes. It is the company's second project in the Granite State, the first being the 24-MW Lempster Wind Farm, in operation since 2008.
During construction, Groton peaked at 277 workers on-site, 52 percent of whom were local. Local spending during this project totaled $3.9 million. Annually, Groton will be paying $528,000 to the town of Groton, with an annual 2.5 percent increase, an amount about equal to the town's annual municipal budget, $450,000 in state taxes and about $275,000 to local landowners. Like Hoosac, all of the energy is under contract with NSTAR Electric.
Earlier in 2012, Iberdrola Renewables completed a 46-MW project in Pennsylvania, a 100-MW project in Iowa and a 304-MW project in Ohio.
Iberdrola Renewables, LLC is headquartered in Portland, Ore., and has over $9 billion of operating assets totaling more than 5,500 MW of wind and solar generation.