U.S. Department of Energy - Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy
Shell and Luminant to Build the World's Largest Wind Farm in Texas
August 1, 2007
Shell WindEnergy Inc. and Luminant announced on July 27th that they plan
to build a 3,000-megawatt wind power plant in the Texas Panhandle.
That's more than four times the size of the largest wind farm
currently in operation. The proposed wind facility would be located in
Briscoe County to take advantage of excellent wind resources and a
relatively low cost of transmitting the wind power to wholesale
markets. The two companies will also explore using compressed air
energy storage, which uses electric fans to force air into underground
caverns, compressing it, and usually involves employing the compressed
air as an oxygen source for a gas turbine. The companies did not
announce a timeline for either project. Luminant was formerly called
TXU Power and is a subsidiary of TXU Corporation. See the TXU press release and the description of compressed air energy storage on DOE's Distributed Energy Program Web site.
Texas already holds the record for the world's largest wind farm, the
735-megawatt Horse Hollow Wind Energy Center, which was completed by
FPL Energy, Inc. in late 2006. It also is the site for the nation's
second-largest wind farm, the 504.8-megawatt Sweetwater wind project,
the fourth phase of which attained commercial operation in May.
Catamount Energy Corp. and Babcock & Brown developed and constructed
Sweetwater 4, and are currently funding the development and
construction of the project's fifth phase, which will add another
80.5 megawatts. And Colorado will soon host the nation's third-largest
wind farm (erroneously announced as the second largest) with the
construction of the 400-megawatt Peetz Table Wind Energy Center in
northeast Colorado. FPL Energy broke ground on the project in May and
expects to complete its construction this year. See the Catamount Energy press
release (PDF 30 KB)
and the FPL Energy press releases on the
and Peetz wind energy facilities.
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FPL Energy is a leading U.S. developer and operator of wind farms, and
it plans to maintain its leadership over the next five years. The
company announced on Monday that it intends to add another 2,000
megawatts of wind power to its portfolio by the end of 2008, followed
by 1,500 to 2,000 megawatts of new wind power capacity each year
through 2012, for a total of up to 10,000 megawatts of new wind power.
The company currently has 1,000 megawatts of wind power under
construction, including the Peetz wind plant, and claims to have more
than 14,000 megawatts of wind power projects in various stages of
development. See the FPL Energy press release.