Platte River adds largest noncarbon resource to date

Roundhouse wind project goes commercial, with noncarbon resources making up nearly half of energy delivered by Platte River

FORT COLLINS, Colo., June 25, 2020 – After several weeks of testing, the 225-megawatt Roundhouse Wind Energy Center located north of the Colorado-Wyoming border has begun commercial operations. Nearly 50% of the energy delivered to Platte River Power Authority’s owner communities comes from noncarbon sources now that the wind farm is fully operational.

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

“We’re pleased to take yet another step toward achieving our noncarbon energy goals. We appreciate our partnership with NextEra Energy and the opportunity to deliver more noncarbon energy to our owner communities,” said Jason Frisbie, general manager and CEO of Platte River.

The project is located 10 miles north of Platte River’s Rawhide Energy Station and extends approximately 20,000 acres. The site features 82 General Electric wind turbines, capable of producing up to 225 MW of output and is estimated to produce enough energy to power approximately 100,000 homes per year. The project is owned by a subsidiary of NextEra Energy Resources, LLC, who acquired early stage development rights for a portion of the project from a joint venture of Enyo Renewable Energy and MAP Renewable Energy.

"We are pleased to work with our partners at Platte River Power Authority to bring this facility online and deliver unprecedented value to its customers," said Matt Handel, senior vice president of development for NextEra Energy Resources, the world's largest generator of renewable energy from the wind and the sun. "This project also brings significant economic benefit to the region, creating jobs and providing additional tax revenue to the communities that host it."

A 230-kilovolt generator outlet that will be purchased by Platte River 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).

“Combining the purchase of the generator outlet with the use of PPAs is one of the many strategies Platte River is pursuing to achieve a 100% noncarbon energy mix by 2030 in an affordable and reliable way,” said Frisbie.

Roundhouse is among two noncarbon energy projects Platte River will add to its portfolio in 2020. The 22-megawatt 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.

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Platte River Power Authority is a not-for-profit wholesale electricity generation and transmission provider that delivers safe, reliable, environmentally responsible and financially sustainable energy and services to its owner communities of Estes Park, Fort Collins, Longmont and Loveland, Colorado for delivery to their utility customers. For more information, visit prpa.org.