RWE Renewables has partnered with GE Renewable Energy to repower its Panther Creek III onshore wind farm in West Texas, US.
The repowering of Panther Creek III includes the replacement of a significant portion of the wind turbine components, including the installation of longer blades and upgrading existing gearboxes. The refurbishment effectively increases the annual production for all 133 wind turbine generators (WTGs) on the site, having a total installed capacity of 215 megawatts (MW).
The erection and commissioning of the project is expected to be complete in third quarter of 2021.
The blades that are removed during the repowering will be processed and recycled, as a part of GE Renewable Energy’s blade recycling agreement with Veolia North America. Veolia will process the blades for use as a raw material for cement, utilising a cement kiln co-processing technology. Nearly 90% of the blade material, by weight, will be reused as a repurposed engineered material for cement production.
“GE Renewable Energy is proud to work with RWE on the Panther Creek III repower project,” said Ben Stafford, GE Renewable Energy’s Services Sales and Commercial Operations Leader for Onshore Americas. “Through repowering, we have the opportunity to extend the life of these turbines, while also improving the performance and reliability of the wind farm—and by sustainably recycling wind blades, we are working to create a circular economy for composite materials.”
This is the third repowering project RWE has commissioned with GE Renewable Energy. Panther Creek I (142.5 MW) and Panther Creek II (115.5 MW) with a total of 172 WTGs, were repowered in the third quarter of 2019.
Panther Creek III came online in August 2009 and was the last of a three-phase project in West Texas located in Sterling, Howard and Glasscock counties.
The U.S. accounts for more than one-third of the RWE Group’s renewables capacity playing a key role in RWE’s strategy to grow its renewables business and to become carbon neutral by 2040. RWE constructs, owns and operates some of the highest performing wind, solar and energy storage projects in the U.S.
RWE has significant experience in the U.S. onshore market with 27 projects in operation and more to come.
As an established leader in renewables, RWE has recently entered into a joint venture, New England Aqua Ventus, focused on floating offshore wind in the state of Maine.
Image source: Courtesy of RWE
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