The Making of Cactus Flats Wind Facility
Southern Power, a leading U.S. wholesale energy provider and subsidiary of Southern Company, announced that the 148-megawatt (MW) Cactus Flats Wind Facility in Concho County, Texas is operational.
“Cactus Flats highlights Southern Power’s ongoing commitment to the development of wind energy, and we are pleased to see this project achieve commercial operation,” said Southern Power President and CEO Mark Lantrip. “We look forward to supporting our customers’ sustainability efforts through the delivery of clean, safe, reliable and affordable wholesale energy.”
The electricity and associated renewable energy credits (RECs) generated by the facility are being sold under two separate power purchase agreements with General Mills and General Motors. Both companies have the option to keep or sell the associated RECs.
“Investing in Texas wind energy is key to our goal of meeting or matching 100 percent of our global electricity needs with renewable energy by 2050,” said General Motors Global Manager for Renewable Energy Rob Threlkeld. “The 50 MW will meet the electricity needs of 16 of our U.S. facilities, including business offices in Fort Worth and Austin, and the Arlington Assembly complex in Texas.”
“As we are seeing an increase in renewable energy adoption in the U.S., we saw an opportunity for our commerce to support and enable the greening of the grid,” said General Mills EVP and Chief Supply Chain Officer John Church. “We see the potential for wind energy to have a positive environmental impact. Cactus Flats is one of many initiatives we have underway to get us closer to reaching our climate commitment.”
Cactus Flats consists of 43 wind turbines manufactured by Vestas, which is jointly maintaining and operating the facility with Southern Power. Southern Power is also performing the balance of plant operations of the facility.
Southern Power acquired the facility in July 2017 from Renewable Energy Systems Americas Inc. (RES) and oversaw all construction activity on site. RES served as the developer and constructor of the site, which created 250 peak construction jobs.
This project aligns with Southern Power’s business strategy of acquiring and developing projects covered by long-term contracts with counterparties with strong credit support.
Cactus Flats is Southern Power’s fifth wind project in the state of Texas. The company’s wind portfolio consists of more than 1,600 MW and is a part of the company’s 3,000-MW renewable fleet, which consists of 39 solar, wind and biomass facilities operating or under construction.