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Clearway to repower US wind farm

Published by
Energy Global,

Clearway Energy Group (Clearway) has closed financing and begun repowering construction on Pinnacle, a 55 MW wind farm in Keyser, West Virginia, US. Pinnacle represents the first repowering project for Clearway in West Virginia and marks the company’s fourth overall repowering effort.

“We’re thrilled to deepen our roots in West Virginia by extending the life of Pinnacle,” said Valerie Wooley, Vice President of Origination at Clearway. “This significant investment in the Mountain State’s energy economy will improve Pinnacle’s efficiency, bolster the reliability of the electric grid, create new jobs, and generate additional tax revenues. We are grateful to Governor Jim Justice’s administration, to state lawmakers, and to the Mineral County Commission for their support, and extend our thanks to the University System of Maryland and Maryland Department of General Services, whose partnership will help make possible the transition to an affordable and reliable clean energy future.”

“In partnership with the University System of Maryland, DGS purchases more than 13% of the electricity used in state operations from renewable energy sources, including the Pinnacle Wind facility,” said Maryland Department of General Services Secretary Ellington E. Churchill, Jr. “Repowering this facility with the newest wind turbine technology ensures that the State will continue to lead by example in its support of renewable energy.”

Pinnacle, which is owned by Clearway’s public affiliate, is contracted under long-term power purchase agreements with the University System of Maryland and Maryland Department of General Services. Clearway also closed US$128 million in debt financing with Keybank National Association and Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corporation to facilitate the repowering activity.

During construction, Pinnacle will create approximately 50 construction jobs and generate millions of dollars of spending in the local community. Clearway is already the largest taxpayer in Mineral County, currently generating approximately US$500 000 in local property taxes. Repowering Pinnacle will increase Clearway’s tax payments to Mineral County by up to US$200 000 in the first year of operations. Pinnacle will also pay US$3.7 million in West Virginia business and occupancy taxes over the project’s operating life.

The repowering will also extend the life of Pinnacle’s Community Benefit Fund, which has awarded more than US$232 000 in grants to local community organisations since the wind farm began operations in 2012. The site will continue to award US$20 000 in annual grants to local organisations.

Once complete, the site will have a total of 23 turbines supplied by Siemens Gamesa Renewable Energy. Construction is being led by a joint venture between Reed & Reed, Inc. and Bechtel Infrastructure and Power Corporation. Pinnacle is expected to achieve repowering commercial operations in late 2021.



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