Distributed Energy Resources

Platte River Power Authority 225-MW wind farm comes online

After several weeks of testing, Platte River Power Authority’s 225-megwatt Roundhouse Wind Energy Center, located north of the Colorado-Wyoming border, has begun commercial operations.

Now that the wind farm is fully operational, nearly 50% of the energy delivered to Platte River Power Authority’s communities comes from noncarbon sources.

The project began after Platte River’s staff was instructed by its board to add new wind power capacity to the public power provider’s portfolio mid-2017. The project nearly triples the amount of wind power Platte River delivers to its owner communities of Estes Park, Fort Collins, Longmont and Loveland, Colorado. The original agreement called for 150 MW of energy, however Platte River committed to acquire the remaining 75 MW in June 2019.

A subsidiary of NextEra Energy Resources, LLC, owns the project. The company acquired early stage development rights for a portion of the project from a joint venture of Enyo Renewable Energy and MAP Renewable Energy.

Platte River will purchase a 230-kilovolt generator outlet that carries power from the Roundhouse project to a transmission interconnection at its Rawhide Energy Station. Ownership of the transmission line ensures exclusive energy delivery to Platte River’s owner communities through the duration of the 22-year power purchase agreement (PPA).

Roundhouse is among two noncarbon energy projects Platte River will add to its portfolio in 2020. The 22 MW Rawhide Prairie Solar project with 2 megawatt-hours of battery storage is expected to come online in the fall. With the addition of these projects to Platte River’s energy mix, approximately 50% of the energy delivered to the owner communities will come from noncarbon resources.