SANTA ROSA, N.M.--()--Babcock & Brown and Arizona Public Service Co. (APS) yesterday dedicated the Aragonne Mesa Wind Project - a 90 megawatt (MW) wind farm located on a desolate mesa 25 miles southwest of Santa Rosa, N.M.
“This project marks a significant step in APS’ renewable energy commitment and we have many more milestones ahead of us.”
Officials from Babcock & Brown, the project’s developer and operator, and APS, recipient of the plant’s electrical output, joined property owners, community leaders and public officials in celebrating the project’s successful beginning.
The project began energy production in December 2006. It consists of 90 wind turbines, each with a one-megawatt capacity. The turbines tower 227 feet into the air and harness the wind using three, 63-foot blades. More than 35 miles of overhead transmission lines connect the facility to the Interconnect Substation.
Because of a purchase power agreement between APS and Babcock & Brown, electricity produced from the wind project is delivered to APS customers throughout Arizona. The agreement, when signed, was the largest purchase power agreement for renewable energy ever signed by the company. It expanded APS’ renewable portfolio from 16 MW (10 MW geothermal, 6 MW solar) to 106 MW – a 563 percent increase. The purchase of this wind power is paid for by APS customers and with the approval of the Arizona Corporation Commission.
The project increased Babcock & Brown’s wind generation in New Mexico from 80 MW to 170 MW (the company also developed and operates the 80 MW Caprock wind farm near Tucumcari, NM, and is developing 130 additional megawatts of wind energy as Phase II at Aragonne Mesa).
The project can serve the needs of more than 23,000 Arizona homes.
“As APS looks to meet the growing need for power in this state, renewable energy will play an increasingly larger role,” said Don Robinson, Vice President, Planning for APS. “This project marks a significant step in APS’ renewable energy commitment and we have many more milestones ahead of us.”
APS, Arizona’s largest and longest-serving electricity utility, serves more than 1 million customers in 11 of the state’s 15 counties. With headquarters in Phoenix, APS is the largest subsidiary of Pinnacle West Capital Corp. (NYSE: PNW).
For more than 121 years, APS has been committed to providing affordable and reliable electricity to the people of Arizona. Today, Arizona faces the challenge of an exploding population. APS is committed to working with its communities and customers to find solutions that ensure a sustainable future. This future includes a robust economy, a healthy environment and strong local communities. Part of the effort includes increasing the use of renewable energy.
About Babcock & Brown
Babcock & Brown is a global investment and advisory firm with longstanding capabilities in structured finance and the creation, syndication and management of asset and cash flow-based investments. Babcock & Brown was founded in 1977 and is listed on the Australian Stock Exchange.
Babcock & Brown operates from 27 offices across Australia, North America, Europe, Asia, United Arab Emirates and Africa and has in excess of 1,000 employees worldwide. Babcock & Brown has five operating divisions including real estate, infrastructure and project finance, operating leasing, structured finance and corporate finance. The company has established a funds management platform across the operating divisions that has resulted in the creation of a number of focused investment vehicles in areas including real estate, renewable energy and infrastructure.
Babcock & Brown has nearly 20 years of experience in the wind energy sector, having arranged financing for over 3,000 MW of wind energy companies and projects with an estimated value over US$3 billion. Babcock & Brown's roles have included acting as an adviser/arranger of limited recourse project financing, arranging equity placements, lease adviser, project developer, principal equity investor and fund manager for wind energy projects in North America, Australia and Europe. Babcock & Brown has developed specialist local expertise and experience in the wind energy sector in each of these regions. More information is available at www.babcockbrown.com.