A Sempra Energy (SE) unit, Sempra U.S. Gas & Power, LLC, has acquired the 75 megawatt (MW) Broken Bow 2 wind farm, located in Custer County, Neb. The company intends to develop the wind farm and upon completion the Sempra unit will have more than 1,000 MW of wind generating capacity.
Although the company did not disclose the terms of the transaction it has already executed an agreement with General Electric (GE) to buy 43 1.7-MW of wind turbines for the facility in Custer County.
The construction of the Broken Bow 2 wind farm is scheduled to begin in December and will take about a year for completion. The project is likely to employ some 300 workers during peak construction period and will produce sufficient energy to power 30,000 Nebraska homes.
The Nebraska Public Power District has already agreed to purchase the entire power output from the project for the next 25 years, thereby paving the way for more utilization of renewable energy as well as expected profits for Sempra.
Globally, utilization of renewable energy is rising primarily due to its clean nature and a growing awareness among the masses regarding its benefits. This has influenced utility providers, like Sempra Energy and Duke Energy Corp. (DUK), to add more solar, wind and water to its energy basket.
Duke Energy recently announced that it has planned to build two Texas wind farms – the Los Vientos III and IV – totaling a massive 400 MW of electricity generation. The utility intends to build, own, and operate the two projects via its Duke Energy Renewables business. Each project will generate 200 MW of emission-free electricity that is enough to collectively power approximately 120,000 homes.
Austin Energy has already agreed to buy all renewable energy credits as well as output from the two farms for the next 25 years. Wind-turbine company, Vestas will provide 200 2-MW turbines for the project, which is slated to commence construction in the fourth quarter of 2013. Los Vientos III project should get operational by early 2015 and Los Vientos IV by mid 2016.
The recent proposals from President Barack Obama to reduce emissions from coal plants have also increased the need to develop renewable energy. Earlier this month, another utility DTE Energy Company (DTE) has received the green signal from the Michigan Public Service Commission to purchase 20 MW of wind power from a subsidiary of Heritage Sustainable Energy, a Michigan wind energy producer.
Sempra Energy, Duke Energy, General Electric and DTE Energy, all presently retain a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold).