The Mustang Run and Breckinridge projects in rural Oklahoma will boost the economy while providing low-cost Energy to Oklahomans
Lenexa, Kan. (March 25, 2014) –TradeWind Energy, Inc., one of the largest independent wind and solar project development companies in the U.S., today announced it has entered into long-term renewable energy purchase agreements with the Grand River Dam Authority (GRDA) to deliver low-cost wind energy from two Oklahoma wind projects.
Together the 136 MW Mustang Run project in Osage County and the 98 MW Breckinridge project near Enid will produce enough low-cost energy to supply about 65,000 Oklahoma homes. The projects will pay approximately $50 million to TradeWind’s landowner partners and generate in excess of $30 million in total ad valorem property taxes, over the next 20 years. The projects will create approximately 20 full-time jobs once they are both operational and will require 300 construction jobs to build.
With Mustang Run and Breckinridge, TradeWind will have developed or begun construction on six wind projects in Oklahoma since 2011. The projects represent just under 1 GW of capacity, $1.6 billion in capital investment and well over $200 million in aggregate landowner payments.
“Oklahoma has an outstanding natural resource in wind, but what sets it apart for development is the state’s commitment to encouraging wind energy in a way that creates jobs and spurs investment in local communities,” said Sanjay Bhasin, TradeWind’s senior vice president for business development.
TradeWind has been collaborating with state and local agencies, landowners and community members in the communities surrounding the two projects. In December, TradeWind partnered with the Shidler School District in Osage County to provide two new school buses for students after company officials learned that the rural school district was experiencing transportation troubles. In response, Shidler’s School Superintendent John Herzig commented, “I guess Santa’s sleigh is big and yellow in Osage County this year.”
“We take pride in being an integral part of the community on every project we develop, and we are looking forward to doing the same on these projects,” Bhasin said.
GRDA’s goal is to have a well-balanced and diversified generation portfolio, said GRDA CEO and Director of Investments, Dan Sullivan.
“The addition of these wind projects will help bring the diversity we need,” Sullivan said. “The fuel options we will have in the future will continue to serve our customers well with reliability and affordability. We look forward to our partnership with TradeWind in this very important step toward our future.”
The Mustang Run wind project will be developed on 16,000 acres in Osage County, ten miles west of Pawhuska, Oklahoma. The 20-year power purchase agreement between TradeWind Energy and GRDA for 136 MW was approved by the GRDA board of directors. An estimated 150 people will be employed during the construction phase with the fully operational project requiring up to ten full-time workers.
The Breckinridge wind project will be developed on approximately 10,000 acres in Garfield County just north of the town of Breckinridge. The 20-year power purchase agreement with GRDA for 98 MW was approved by the GRDA board.
Each project is expected to contribute up to $2 million annually in direct payments to the respective local communities via property taxes and rent payments to landowners who will host the turbine easements over the 20-year contract terms.
About TradeWind Energy
TradeWind Energy, Inc. is one of the largest independent wind and solar project development companies in the U.S. Founded in 2003, the company has earned a reputation for its innovation in the market, its highly skilled and passionate team, and for its respect for the people and communities where it develops projects. TradeWind was honored with the Kansas Governor’s Energy Achievement Award and was bestowed the national Outstanding Commercial Achievement Award by the American Wind Energy Association. The company’s founders were named 2013 finalists for the EY Entrepreneur of the Year award.
TradeWind takes great pride in its demonstrated ability to deliver low-cost wind and solar energy to diverse markets while maintaining an uncompromising commitment to long-term project quality. To date, TradeWind has completed more than 1 GW of installed wind capacity, representing $1.7 billion of capital invested, and is rapidly expanding its solar development portfolio. The company is actively developing about 3,000 MW of wind and solar energy projects in multiple states across the U.S. For more information, visit www.tradewindenergy.com.
Headquartered in Vinita, GRDA is Oklahoma’s state-owned electric utility; fully funded by revenues from electric and water sales instead of taxes. GRDA’s low-cost, reliable power touches 75 of 77 counties in the state. At no cost to Oklahoma taxpayers, GRDA also manages 70,000 surface acres of lakes in the state, including Grand Lake, Lake Hudson and the W.R. Holway Reservoir. Today, GRDA’s 500 employees continue to produce the same “power for progress” that has benefited the state for 75 years.
George Merritt, Parris Communications