Clearway Begins Repowering of Texas Wind Farm

Clearway Energy Group on July 8 said it has closed financing and begun a repowering project for the California-based company’s Cedro Hill wind farm in Webb County, Texas.

Clearway said the repowering will boost the wind farm’s generation capacity to 160 MW, from its current 150 MW. Workers will replace the blades and nacelle with General Electric (GE) equipment across the site’s 100 turbines. Clearway, in collaboration with Wanzek Construction, a MasTec Renewables company, is undertaking efforts to ensure that existing materials, including fiberglass, are recycled or diverted from landfills, as part of Clearway’s zero-waste repowering strategy

“Our Cedro Hill repowering is our most recent example of how Clearway is upgrading its sizable existing fleet to deploy resilient, state-of-the-art technology on sites that have proven, high-quality wind resources,” said Chris Fox, senior vice president of Construction at Clearway Energy Group. “As a long-term owner and operator, we are pleased that repowerings like Cedro Hill deliver decades of more value for our local landowners and communities.”

This project will mark Clearway’s fifth wind farm repower in Texas and sixth across its portfolio, amounting to more than 700 MW of upgrades to deploy resilient, state-of-the-art technology on sites with strong wind resources.

The Cedro Hill repower represents a $269 million investment in South Texas. Upon completion, the repower will add another 15 years to the project’s operating life and extend property taxes and landowner payments to Webb County by $27 million.

Cedro Hill was originally built and commissioned in 2010, with its generated power sold under a long-term power purchase agreement with CPS Energy, the largest municipal electric and gas utility in the nation, serving the city of San Antonio, Texas, and one of the nation’s largest municipal buyers of wind energy. As part of the repowering, CPS Energy extended its existing agreement to support its commitment to growing its renewable energy portfolio. CPS Energy continues to benefit from 100% of the power generated by the Cedro Hill wind farm.

To finance the repowering, Clearway raised $261 million in construction, term loan, and letter of credit facilities from a bank consortium including DNB Markets, the New York branch of Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce, National Australia Bank Limited, and the New York branch of Deutsche Zentral-Genossenschaftsbank.

“MasTec Renewables is looking forward to another successful project with Clearway Energy Group,” said Brendon Lamppa, Director of Construction for MasTec. “This will be the third overall, but the first repower project that the teams will have worked together on. This is a unique opportunity given the fact that MasTec Renewables’ legacy personnel performed the original build in 2010. The repower aspect also brings a recycling component into the equation. All 100 existing hubs and 300 existing blades will be removed, cut on-site, and shipped to a recycling facility to be processed for beneficial reuse.”

POWER edited this content, which was contributed by Clearway Energy’s communications department.

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