The North American Development Bank (NADB) and Duke Energy Renewables, a commercial business unit of Duke Energy, signed two $110 million loans for the construction of Los Vientos I and Los Vientos II wind farm projects in Willacy and Cameron Counties in Texas. The combined installed capacity of the wind farms will be 402 MW.
The 200 MW Los Vientos I wind power project consists of 87 Siemens wind turbines, each with a nominal capacity of 2.3 MW. The electricity produced by Los Vientos I will be purchased by CPS Energy of San Antonio, Texas. CPS Energy has set a goal of generating 1,500 MW, or about 20 percent of its total generation capacity, from renewable energy sources by 2020.
Los Vientos II, at 202 MW, is comprised of 84 Mitsubishi Heavy Industry wind turbines, each with a nominal capacity of 2.4 MW. The electricity produced by Los Vientos II will be purchased by Austin Energy, the ninth largest publicly-owned energy utility in the United States. The city of Austin has established a renewable energy portfolio goal of 35 percent by 2020 for Austin Energy.
Both projects were certified by the Border Environment Cooperation Commission (BECC) in May of 2012. According to BECC certification documents, the environmental benefits related to the two projects include the displacement of more than 860,000 metric tons of carbon dioxide, nearly 1,500 metric tons of sulfur dioxide and 710 metric tons of nitrogen oxides per year.
The electricity generated by both wind farms will be delivered to the Rio Hondo substation on the Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT) grid. ERCOT manages the flow of electricity to 23 million Texas customers — representing 85 percent of the state's electric load.