Turbines and blades arriving from rail
facilities near Amarillo and Plainview
AMARILLO, Texas (Nov. 1, 2018) – More than half of the concrete foundations have been poured for the planned 239 wind turbines at Xcel Energy’s new Hale Wind Project, and turbines and blades have started to arrive at the wind farm site southeast of Plainview in Hale County, Texas.
By next summer, the new Xcel Energy-owned wind energy facility will be generating enough electricity to power 184,000 typical homes with clean energy using only the regions’ abundant wind as its fuel source.
“The benefits of a project like this are quite large and far-reaching, so we’re excited about bringing this project in on time so our customers and our area communities can start enjoying these benefits as soon as possible,” said David Hudson, president, Xcel Energy – New Mexico, Texas. “We still have much work to do before next summer, but we’re pleased with the progress we’ve made.”
Rail facilities in both Amarillo and Plainview are now receiving the wind farm components – namely the 190-foot turbine blades and generators that are manufactured by Vestas near Brighton, Colo. These components are offloaded onto specially designed trailers and hauled to the Hale site, about 19 miles southeast of Plainview. By December, turbines and blades will be lifted onto towers that are anchored on 350 cubic yards of concrete and 25 tons of rebar. When completed, each turbine will tower 499 feet into the air, from base to the tip of the blade.
Trenching work has started for the190 miles of underground cable that will collect the 478-megawatts of electricity generated by the turbines. Crews have also started work on a 14-mile transmission line that will move this electricity onto the region’s power grid. Work on the concrete footings for three 882,000-pound substation transformers has already been completed. In all, more than 300 construction workers are being employed to build the wind energy facility.
The Hale Wind Project is part of a historic expansion of renewable energy resources benefitting Xcel Energy’s Texas and New Mexico customers. The company also is developing a similar project in Roosevelt County, N.M., and has contracted with NextEra Energy Resources to purchase the output of new wind farms in Cochran and Crosby counties in Texas. By 2021, carbon-free renewable energy is expected to supply almost half of the region’s electricity needs. And the new wind resources driving this expansion are expected to be some of the most economical power generating resources on the regional system, saving customers tens of millions of dollars over the next 30 years, mostly through lower fuel costs.
Once the facility is finished in 2019, around 20 full-time employees will operate and maintain the wind farm. The Hale Wind Project will boost tax revenue for the county and local schools, and will benefit landowners through lease payments, adding more outside dollars into the area economy. The Hale Wind Project is part of the company’s wider “Our Energy Future” initiative to strengthen electricity generating and delivery systems to enhance economic growth, job creation and quality of life in Texas and New Mexico. More information on Our Energy Future can be found at http://www.xcelenergy.com/OurEnergyFutureSW