The new 50-megawatt (MW) Macho Springs Wind Farm in Deming, New Mexico, is now online, providing Tucson Electric Power (TEP) with enough renewable power to serve 14,000 homes.
“As TEP’s first dedicated source of wind power, the Macho Springs Wind Farm will complement our expanding array of solar energy projects, helping us develop a diverse portfolio of cost-effective renewable resources for our customers,” said David Hutchens, Executive Vice President of TEP and its parent company, UniSource Energy Corporation (NYSE: UNS).
The wind farm was developed by Element Power US, which is selling its output to TEP through a 20-year contract. It includes 28 Vestas V100-1.8 MW wind turbines erected this year on approximately 2,000 acres of ranchland.
“We are excited to have this project operating and delivering energy to TEP,” said Ty Daul, CEO of Element Power. A ribbon-cutting ceremony for the wind farm is being held today.Macho Springs was developed in an area with strong, steady winds and existing transmission lines to deliver the energy to Tucson. “Our southern Arizona service territory doesn’t offer much wind power potential, so this project offered an opportunity to provide some balance to our renewable portfolio,” Hutchens said. TEP has 30 MW of solar generating capacity and is working to expand that capacity to nearly 200 MW by the end of 2014. Both wind and solar energy count toward Arizona’s Renewable Energy Standard, which requires utilities to expand their use of renewable energy each year until it accounts for 15 percent of their power by 2025.
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