BP and its partner Sempra US Gas & Power announced plans to jointly develop the Auwahi Wind farm in Hawaii. This is the fifth project developed under a strategic partnership between the two companies that includes more than 1,000 megawatts (MW) of wind generating capacity in operation or under construction.
Located in southeastern Maui, the 21-MW wind farm will utilize eight Siemens wind turbines to generate enough renewable power for approximately 10,000 average Maui homes. Initial construction activities are underway and full mobilization at the site is slated to begin by the end of the second quarter 2012. The project will employ about 150 workers during the peak of construction and is expected to be in commercial operation by year-end 2012. The balance of plant contract has been awarded to RMT WindConnect.
Sempra U.S. Gas & Power will continue leading the development of Auwahi Wind and operate the project once construction is complete.
“We are pleased to have the opportunity to further expand our highly successful strategic partnership with BP Wind Energy while helping Hawaii advance one step closer to its renewable energy goals,” said Jim Sahagian, vice president of renewables for Sempra U.S. Gas & Power. “Our companies share a commitment to building and operating the Auwahi Wind farm in a way that reflects Maui’s commitment to environmental protection. We look forward to providing a stable supply of clean power to the region and becoming a long-term partner with the local community.”
“BP is once again proud to partner with Sempra U.S. Gas & Power to grow our investment in the renewable power sector to produce essential sources of cost-competitive energy to our customers,” said John Graham, president and CEO, BP Wind Energy. “Today marks an important milestone as this is BP’s first venture in delivering clean energy to the people of Hawaii.”
The entire power output from the wind farm has been sold under a long-term power purchase agreement to the Maui Electric Company. This new source of locally-produced wind power helps Hawaii reach its clean energy goal to secure 40 percent of its electricity from renewable sources by 2030.
In a first for the BP and Sempra U.S. Gas and Power strategic partnership, the Auwahi Wind farm will utilize a battery storage unit capable of storing in excess of 4 megawatt hours of renewable power. This stored electricity will help to regulate the intermittent wind power, providing a valuable source of grid stability for Maui Electric Company.
In January 2012, BP and Sempra U.S. Gas & Power announced an expansion of their strategic relationship by jointly investing more than $1 billion to build 560 MW of wind power. In Kansas, the companies are building the 419 MW Flat Ridge 2 Wind Farm and are finalizing joint venture agreements for a 51 MW expansion project. In Pennsylvania, the 141 MW Mehoopany Wind Farm is in construction. Both the Kansas and Pennsylvania wind farms are expected to be in commercial operation by year-end 2012 and will be the largest wind projects ever constructed in their respective states. The companies are also equal partners on the 200 MW Fowler Ridge 2 Wind Farm in Indiana and the 250 MW Cedar Creek 2 Wind Farm located in northeastern Colorado.