Duke Energy to Buy Pennsylvania Wind Farm
Will be company’s first wind power project in operation in eastern U.S.
Two years after entering the wind power business, Duke Energy is buying its first wind farm in the eastern United States, another step in expanding its renewable energy portfolio.
The company announced today that it will purchase the North Allegheny Windpower Project from wind turbine manufacturer and project developer Gamesa Energy USA. Construction on the 70-megawatt facility is nearing completion in Blair and Cambria counties, Pa., roughly 95 miles east of Pittsburgh.
Final commissioning – performing the necessary adjustments, tests and inspections to ensure readiness – is under way. The project consists of 35 Gamesa wind turbines, each capable of producing two megawatts of electricity.
"The purchase of the North Allegheny Windpower Project in Pennsylvania marks a milestone for Duke Energy and its renewables business," said Wouter van Kempen, president of Duke Energy Generation Services. "This acquisition immediately expands our wind power portfolio beyond the western United States, where we have half a dozen projects already in operation or under construction."
The acquisition is expected to close in the third quarter of 2009. With the acquisition comes a 23½-year power purchase agreement to sell all of the output from the wind farm and associated renewable energy credits to FirstEnergy. The site will begin generating electricity for FirstEnergy later this year.
Duke has more than 500 megawatts of wind-powered generation in operation – a figure that will rise to more than 700 megawatts by the end of 2009. The company has an additional 5,000 megawatts in potential wind energy development projects.
Get a Bird's Eye View
For a peek at what the area looks like around the North Alleghany project, check out this video. It contains flyover footage of the Allegheny Ridge Wind Project next door to the North Allegheny project that Duke Energy plans to purchase.